We will construct more skywalks in Mumbai if required: MMRDA chief
Former Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) Commissioner Rahul Asthana may have felt that the skywalks constructed in Mumbai were white elephants for the organistaion, but no so his successor.
While Asthana was of opinion that over Rs 700 crore spent on constructing the skywalk would have been saved if the project would have been properly planned and implemented on pilot basis, the new MMRDA chief UPS Madan made it clear that wherever necessary the skywalls will be constructed.
While interacting with reporters, the Metropolitan Commissioner said, “In future we will be very careful while constructing the skywalks. I am not taking the 'No Skywalk' kind of stand and if required we will construct the skywalks.”
The statement that planning authority will consider constructing the skywalks wherever required has come as a surprise to many officials within the planning authority as the ex-MMRDA Commissioner during his tenure had said that MMRDA wouldn't construct any new skywalks since a huge sum ahad alreadly been spent on the project.
While interacting with MiD DAY prior to his retirement, Asthana had said, "A huge amount of money was spent on the skywalk project but with no takers, it proves that there was a lack of planning. A lot of money would have been saved if only few skywalks were first constructed on pilot basis and taking in consideration the response to these skywalks the decision to construct the remaining skywalks would have been taken." Asthana had even said that the money spent on skywalk would have been used for some other project.
In the month of November MiD DAY had even reported that how Rs 700 crore spent by MMRDA on constructing 39 skywalks in Mumbai and MMR had gone down the drain as there were hardly any response from pedestrians.
Finding it difficult to maintain the skywalk, MMRDA had even written letter to BMC to take over 23 skywalk in MCGM jurisdiction since they were finding it difficult to maintain the skywalks.
It should be noted that MMRDA has spent a hefty amount of over Rs 700 crore in constructing 36 skywalks in Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).