Bandra skywalk shut: Wait another month, BMC tells Western Railway
The civic body has asked VJTI for expert advice on the stability and repairs of the skywalk; reports will take a month, delaying the station decongestion plan
Commuter at Bandra East might just have to wait some more to have the station area decongested. It may take another month to decide on the fate of the new wide railway bridge in place of the Bandra skywalk.
After the BMC abruptly shut down the nine-year-old skywalk, leaving Western Railway's R 8-crore plan in limbo, the BMC has now decided to handover the skywalk to the Veermata Jijabai Technical Institute (VJTI) for expert advice on its stability and repairs.
"The new wide railway bridge at the Churchgate end was supposed to connect to the skywalk and its construction was rapidly being completed when the BMC abruptly shut the skywalk stating that its support structures were weak," a senior railway official said. Earlier, chief engineer Sanjay Darade had told mid-day that the bridge was being closed as a precautionary measure.
Western Railway officials then began mulling over where to land the new bridge — the road outside or wait for the skywalk to reopen. But the BMC has now asked it to wait for another month.
"After receiving recommendations from VJTI Mumbai, further course of action will be decided," Western Railway chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar said.
This will mean that the chaos outside the railway station will continue. Activist Jitendra Gupta of Mumbai Transport Forum blasted the MMRDA over the skywalk. "This was Mumbai's first iconic skywalk constructed just about nine years ago. How can it be declared dangerous and shut? Is this the quality of construction of MMRDA's bridges?" he questioned.
East-West connectivity hit
The skywalk's closure has led to hurdles in the Bandra East decongestion plans. After studying the crowd movement patterns and congestion, the Western Railway had planned one of widest footbridges for east-west connectivity at the station.
The new 10-metre wide and 102-metre-long foot overbridge being built at the Churchgate-end of the station was to be linked to the skywalk. "It would have helped provide additional connectivity to the Bandra skywalk as well as decongested the existing foot overbridge that presently provides east-west connectivity, linking to the skywalk," a senior divisional official of WR said. BMC officials shut the skywalk on June 20 after inspection saying that the support structures were found to be weak.
Rs 8 crore
Cost of the Bandra East decongestion project
Width of the new bridge
Length of the new bridge
Age of the skywalk
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauds ISRO for Chandrayaan 2