Is the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) going back on its word? After publicly announcing that it won’t be constructing any new skywalks, as very few people were using them, the planning authority has floated bids to extend the Bandra (east) skywalk so that there is another arm that connects with Bandra railway station.
Confirming the development to SUNDAY MiD DAY, MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar said, “It is true that we have invited bids to extend the Bandra (east) skywalk with one arm connecting Bandra railway station, but this does not mean we are constructing a new skywalk. It should also be noted that the plan to construct this additional arm is very old. We are just implementing it now.”
More importantly, bowing to public pressure, the MMRDA has finally agreed to install escalators at the Kalanagar end of the skywalk.
Sources from MMRDA said that Railways had requested MMRDA to provide an additional skywalk to and from the station. It will be built parallel from Bandra court to Bandra railway station’s platform number 7 which is a Harbour Line Railway platform.
An internal study by MMRDA in 2011 found that the skywalks of Bandra (east) and West, combined, had 1,90,478 commuter footfalls in the entire year. According to MMRDA plans, the extension arm will be ready by February 2014 and the planning authority will have to spend an estimated Rs 4.42 crore on the skywalk.