Simple or modern? Design delays new foot overbridge

While the previous additional municipal commissioner wanted a modern bridge to replace the one demolished at Charni Road, the current holder of the post sent a simple design to the heritage panel, which also wants a modern bridge

In Mumbai, where tradition is always clashing with modernity, it seems even the bureaucracy faces this battle. A new foot overbridge is not being built where the old one was demolished at Charni Road near Sukh Sagar hotel more than a year back, because it has not been decided whether to construct a “simple” bridge or a “modern” one.

The design for the simple foot overbridge at Charni Road that was sent to the MHCC
The design for the simple foot overbridge at Charni Road that was sent to the MHCC

The famous foot overbridge at Charni Road near Sukh Sagar hotel was demolished by the Brihanm-umbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in August 2013. But the designs for the new bridge have still not been finalised.

It is learnt that former Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta had proposed building a modern bridge. The Bridge Department of the BMC had started working on the designs. But he was transferred and S V R Srinivas was appointed in his place. He decided to build a simple bridge.

The Bridge Department sent a simple design to the heritage committee for approval. But now, the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) is also of the opinion that a modern bridge should be built. When mid-day spoke to Srinivas and asked him the reason behind the delay, he said, “The design isn’t final. So when it has to happen it will happen”.

An official from the MHCC said, “We suggested to the Bridge Department that a modern bridge be constructed, as the location is more of a tourist spot”. So while officials and the MHCC are yet to make a decision, the new bridge is being delayed. A BMC official from the Bridge Department said, “When Aseem Gupta was the additional commissioner, a modern bridge was to be constructed and we even started working for the same.

But then Srinivas arrived and he said that a simple bridge must be constructed, so we designed a simple bridge and forwarded the design to the MHCC. Now they are suggesting that a modern bridge be constructed on the spot. As of now, nothing has been finalised.”

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