Mumbai: BMC builds, shuts and forgets Mahim subway

Residents have proposed a multi-utility civic centre at this subway that was abandoned halfway by the BMC; the civic body has not been able to make up its mind on what it plans to do with this crucial patch of land, for more than seven years

Here’s another case that highlights the shoddy planning process of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). In 2008, the civic body decided to build a subway from Veer Savarkar Marg to Lady Jamshedji Road in Mahim. But the proposed subway was only half-built till the Muhammad Ali Rogey Nakhuda garden at Lady Jamshedji Road junction.

The half-built subway has been shuttered for years
The half-built subway has been shuttered for years

The remaining stretch of the subway, which was proposed to be built and constructed till St Michael’s School, was left incomplete. Locals have been constantly approaching the BMC, asking it to utilise the (approximately) 4,000 sq ft stretch of the subway, which has been constructed.

The residents here feel that this space could be ideally utilised for building a medical centre, public library, art gallery, gymnasium and study centre. In 2010, the BMC had agreed to build an art gallery here, but the civic body has initiated no work so far.

A local resident Irfan Machiwala told mid-day, “Along with a study centre and medical centre, we had also placed a proposal in front of MP Rahul Shewale to build a library and a gymnasium in the subway, two years ago. At that time, he agreed with the idea of a medical centre.”

The area around the abandoned subway is accident-prone, and there is no hospital in the vicinity. Police Inspector V J Pisal from Mahim Traffic Police Department said, “This year there have already been two deaths that have been reported in the Mahim area.”

Machiwala added, “The construction of the subway was proposed due to various traffic-related issues at Lady Jamshedji Road. Taking into consideration the various accidents that take place here, it is necessary to open a medical centre at the subway.”

Another local, Anwar Khan, seconds his views: “Since there are no hospitals in the vicinity, an operational medical centre at the subway is essential.”

Official speak
Recently, the BMC decided to build a foot over bridge near the subway, but soon after, that plan had to be called off due to the Metro 3 rail project in this area.

S O Kori, chief engineer, bridges department, BMC, told mid-day, “The construction of the subway had to be stalled as there was a water pipeline that was passing from under the road that was located near Lady Jamshedji Road. The construction of the foot over-bridge was not possible due to the Metro 3 project near this road.”

G/North Ward Officer Sharad Ughade said, “If the construction of the foot over bridge is not feasible, then the public demand for setting up a medical centre, study centre, library or gymnasium shall be given due consideration. This decision needs to be taken at a higher level.”

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