Pedestrians between Mahim (E) and Dharavi may have to wait a while before they can take the high road to beat the traffic, after Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has decided to decrease the length of a skywalk due to unavailability of funds. The skywalk was initially proposed to be 2 km long, connecting Mahim (E) to Dharavi T-Junction.
Confirming the same, MHADA Vice President Satish Gavai said, “We have now decided to construct a 1.5-km skywalk between Mahim (E) station and 90 feet road in Dharavi to solve the pedestrian issue. The skywalk was originally supposed to be 2 km long, but now we have to reduce the length of the skywalk as we have limited funds available with us.”
In July, MiD DAY had reported about MHADA’s initial plans to construct the skywalk (‘Skywalk to connect Dharavi to Mahim Stn’). Earlier, MHADA was slated to spend Rs 35-40 crore on the 2-km long skywalk, but after cutting costs, it will only be able to spend Rs 28 crore on the newly proposed 1.5 km skywalk. The housing authority will fund the construction of the skywalk with unutilised money that is lying with the slum board.
A source from MHADA told MiD DAY that the decision to construct the skywalk was only taken as it was proposed to help alleviate pedestrian woes in the area. “As the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority had earlier refused to construct the skywalk, the chief minister asked if we could construct it. We agreed to do the job, as it would be beneficial for pedestrians as well as motorists.” Locals in the area have said that the construction of a skywalk is essential in the area as many students and senior citizens travel on this road.
Due to the huge pedestrian and traffic volume on the 90 feet road and at Dharavi T-junction, there are always traffic jams during peak hours which will ease up after the skywalk is built. The skywalk will not only ensure pedestrian safety, but will also reduce traffic snarls, which occur due to a large number of pedestrians crossing the overcrowded roads. 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. The situation only gets worse during peak hours, as vehicular traffic increases drastically on these roads.