Mumbai: New Kurla subway took just two weeks to look like a royal mess

Nov 14, 2017, 19:52 IST | Laxman Singh

Barely two weeks after the Kurla subway -- connecting the western and eastern sides of the suburb -- was first opened to the public, infrastructure inside the underpass is already giving way. From leaking roofs, non-functional exhaust fans to zero maintenance, the much-delayed subway, constructed at a cost of Rs 9 crore, has become a sore point for pedestrians using it.

Garbage strewn in the subway, walls defaced with paan stains and leaking roofs. Pics/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

The BMC had first planned the pedestrian subway in 2002. However, after years of bureaucratic rigmarole, work on constructing the subway finally began in 2016. The subway, which is 130m-long and 7.6m-wide, was opened to the public late last month, and has since been the most preferred route for pedestrians, especially railway commuters.

While garbage can be seen strewn along the subway, the walls have been defaced with paan stains

However, days after the inauguration, water started seeping inside the subway on the western, as well as the eastern entry and exit points, making it difficult for pedestrians to venture inside. Further, while six chambers have been created to install exhaust fans for ventilation, only two of them have fans, and just one of them is in working condition.


Garbage strewn in the subway, walls defaced with paan stains and leaking roofs. Pics/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

If that wasn't enough, garbage is seen strewn along the subway and the walls defaced with paan stains.

Citizens and activists said that the absence of guards or maintenance staff is one of the primary reasons for the poor condition inside the subway.


Leakage in the roof near the eastern entry and exit points has caused water to seep inside the subway. Pics/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Jitendra Gupta, a resident of Kurla and founder member of Citizen Transport Committee, said, "There isn't a single dustbin inside the subway due to which people throw garbage in the open."

Also Read: BMC Report: Corrupt Civic Staff Made Kurla An Illegal Construction Den


Garbage strewn in the subway, walls defaced with paan stains and leaking roofs. Pics/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

He added, "The water seepage is only adding to the problem. Incidentally, the leakage spots are near the base of the staircases on either side. The problem is the result of inferior waterproofing and poor supervision. And, considering that the subway is only two weeks old, these issues are very serious and cannot be ignored."

Also Read: Mumbai: Central Railway Plans To Build An Elevated Station Complex For Harbour Line Trains

The subway, which was the brainchild of former chief minister Manohar Joshi, was originally meant to be a vehicular underpass. However, the project faced a lot of hurdles. Eventually, the BMC -- citing the massive footfall Kurla station witnesses each day -- decided to build a pedestrian subway here.


Garbage strewn in the subway, walls defaced with paan stains and leaking roofs. Pics/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Speaking to mid-day, RTI activist Anil Galgali said, "The BMC should forfeit the deposit of the contractor responsible for the leakage. Authorities should also install CCTV cameras at strategic locations inside the subway, and appoint a security guard to monitor any mischief."

Galgali also suggested strict action or penalty for citizens responsible for defacing the walls and throwing garbage inside When contacted, SO Kori, chief engineer of the bridge department of the BMC, said, "We have not received complaint about leakage yet. I will check and take immediate action."

He added, "For the maintenance of the subway, we have written a letter to the local ward to appoint some agency as soon as possible."

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