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MHADA to construct skywalk at Dharavi to ease traffic woes

To reduce traffic woes caused by jaywalkers crossing the road, work has begun on a 280-metre skywalk that will pass over the arterial 60-Feet Road and connect the Mahim (East) railway station

There is good news for motorists who get stuck in traffic on the Dharavi 60-Feet Road while going towards Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Sion Hospital.

With pedestrians wading through moving traffic, vehicular speeds reduce, causing traffic jams. The new skywalk will help reduce the snarls, while ensuring pedestrians’ safety. File pic
With pedestrians wading through moving traffic, vehicular speeds reduce, causing traffic jams. The new skywalk will help reduce the snarls, while ensuring pedestrians’ safety. File pic

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has started work on constructing a skywalk for pedestrians on the route that sees major traffic jams due to jaywalkers crossing the road. The 280-metre long skywalk will begin at the Mahim railway station in the east, and end just after the 60-Feet Road.

P A Sawant, deputy chief engineer of MHADA’s Project Planning Division, said, “The work order for the project has already been given to RE Infrastructure in April and the actual construction of skywalk has started.” Sawant added that the first phase would be finished in nine months.

Crucial stretch
More than 15,000 pedestrians cross the 60-Feet Road every day, causing bumper-to-bumper traffic during morning and evening peak hours. The arterial road connects the Dharavi 90-Feet Road to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road near Sion Hospital.

Motorists use this route to travel between BKC and Mahim, and Sion Hospital. Presently, pedestrians face a lot of problems while making their way through the busy T-Junction in Dharavi, the Mahim-Sion Link Road and Sion-Bandra Link Road intersections.

A huge number of vehicles pass through the 60-Feet Road and Dharavi T-junction during peak hours, and the pedestrian-crossing signals are turned off, forcing people to jaywalk through traffic. This leads to slowdown of vehicular movement, causing snarls and long lines.

Funding issues
Local public representatives had requested the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in 2012 to build a skywalk, but the authorities refused to do so, saying it had stopped constructing skywalks.

The state government later asked MHADA to take over, and the housing body approached MMRDA for funds in 2013. But, MMRDA turned down this request as well. After the state government finally sanctioned Rs 14 crore for the construction, MHADA decide to carry out work in two phases.

In phase one, the skywalk would join Mahim station in the east, via the Dharavi main road, passing over the 60-Feet Road, ending at the latter. In the second phase, the remaining portion would be constructed, said a MHADA official.

MHADA would require another Rs 20 crore for the second phase of the skywalk, which would pick up from the first phase and end near Abhyudaya Bank on Sant Rohidas Marg. This stretch would be 320 metres long.

Rs 34 crore
Amount MHADA will require to construct the entire stretch of the 600-metre skywalk

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