From now on, BMC to maintain skywalks
Mumbai civic body will be writing to the MMRDA to formally take over upkeep duties of the skywalks; MMRDA had to spend nearly Rs 2.5 crore a year on maintaining the structures
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has finally decided to take over maintenance of the skywalks in the city from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
While the Borivli (West) skywalk has broken tiles at several places, the structure at Bandra (East) has a damaged staircase
Additional Municipal Commissioner SVR Srinivas said, “We are ready to take over the skywalks from MMRDA. We will be writing a letter to them soon.”
MMRDA’s Joint Project Director Dilip Kawathkar told mid-day, “Once we receive the letter, we will complete the handover of the 23 skywalks under BMC’s jurisdiction to them.” MMRDA used to spend nearly R2.5 crore each year on maintaining the structures, after having spent R700 crore on constructing them.
In a letter dated December 19, 2012, the then Metropolitan Commissioner Rahul Asthana had written to the BMC, informing them that the planning body wished to hand over duties of the skywalk that came under their jurisdiction, along with their advertisement leasing rights.
The MMRDA planned to construct 56 skywalks, but after a poor response from pedestrians and advertisers, ended up building only 39.
State of skywalks
Our team went to check on two skywalks in the city one in Borivli (West) and one in Bandra (East). At Borivli, there were no dustbins available to throw trash. One could observe broken tiles on the steps, posing a possibility of injury to commuters who are always in a hurry.
At some places, safety railings were missing which might prove to be fatal if someone loses their balance and falls. Even at Bandra, there were a few broken tiles. Benches for commuters were quite far from each other.
Rs 700 crore
Amount the MMRDA has spent on constructing the 39 skywalks in Mumbai Metropolitan region
Number of skywalks in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, including Thane and Kalyan
Anish Oza, student who uses Borivli skywalk
Maintenance of skywalks should not be handed over to the BMC, since they are already unable to cope with their work of road repairs. It should be handed over to some private firm.
Bhagyashri Samant, daily commuter at Bandra (East)
Monsoon is about to arrive and the BMC isn’t done with work on roads and potholes. Handing over the maintenance of skywalks to them is a bad idea.
Akshay Bhalavat, daily commuter at Borivli skywalk
MMRDA should continue to look after the skywalks. They’ve been doing it well, and only a few improvements need to be made.
Sanjana Ayathil, a daily commuter at Bandra (East)
I have seen skywalks are put under repairs if they are damaged. MMRDA should continue doing it.