The civic body is putting in new shot-blasted paver blocks at footpaths outside ten of the city’s busiest stations; while the entire project is expected to take a year, work outside Churchgate station has already concluded
The civic body is finally putting the interests of pedestrians first and is carrying out a revamp of footpaths outside 10 of the city’s busiest suburban railway stations, under its ‘Pedestrian First’ policy.
The newly revamped footpath outside Churchgate station and Hotel Ambassador. (Left) Bollards on the path prevent vehicles from being parked. Pics/Bipin Kokate
The chosen railway stations include Dadar, Bandra and Kurla, and involve the installation of a new kind of paver blocks. The BMC, in its annual budget exercise in February, had announced the ‘Pedestrian First’ initiative, which had proposed to make footpaths more accessible to citizens.
The current refurbishment is part of the City Mobility Plan, in which 10 railway stations with the maximum footfall during peak hours Andheri, Khar, Vile Parle, Bandra, Borivli, CST, Churchgate, Dadar, Kurla and Ghatkopar will see a makeover of the footpaths outside. The thrust is on the Western suburbs, since this is where the project was first implemented on a pilot basis.
First foot forward
As part of the proposal, the old paver blocks will make way for shot-blasted paver blocks. S V R Srinivas, BMC’s additional municipal commissioner, explained, “These shot-blasted paver blocks can carry double the weight and are skid-proof.”
Moreover, utilities such as fire hydrants, post boxes, electric boxes, etc, will be shifted to one side of the footpath. Bollards will be put in place to prevent parking on footpaths. The civic body is going to spend Rs 15-20 lakh per station.
“We want to give pedestrians their due. Currently, due to narrow, encroached footpaths, crowds spill onto the road, which leads to accidents. After all, a cost of Rs 15-20 lakh per railway station is not much. It is almost Rs 2 per commuter. That’s the least the BMC can do for them,” Srinivas added.
Work outside Churchgate railway station concluded a month ago, and the footpath on D N Road, outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), is a work-in-progress. The spanner in the works, however, could be hawkers. Citizens recently went up in arms against the civic hawking policy, which means hawkers will have to sell their wares near railway stations.
The revamp plan involves streamlining of hawkers on the footpaths. While the BMC has proposed that no hawker should do business within 100 metres of a railway station, the administration has left the enforcement of this regulation to the loca ward office.
“We want unobstructed movement of pedestrians,” said another senior civic official, adding that the local ward office had to decide what to do about hawkers, as per “local needs.”
Cecelia D’Souza, student who travels to Bandra
I think this new proposal will work only if it is completed on time. Besides, I don’t think it will be easy to remove hawkers altogether from footpaths.
Veda Halve, student who travels to Dadar
They have completed work of raising the height of the platform at Kanjurmarg, but the footpaths are still bad. I hope they do it near all stations soon.
Footpaths outside the following stations will be overhauled in the project: Andheri, Khar, Vile Parle, Bandra, Borivli, CST, Churchgate, Dadar, Kurla, and Ghatkopar
Rs 15-20 lakh
Amount the BMC is planning to spend per railway station, on revamping the footpaths outside the station
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