Kharghar skywalk leaves its Mumbai counterparts far behind
When MiD DAY visited skywalks in Kharghar, Borivli and Bandra last week, it was observed that the Kharghar skywalk functioned efficiently with security guards and escalators, while the others failed to even maintain basic cleanliness
Skywalks maintained by the City and Industrial Develop-ment Corporation (CIDCO) are proving to be far better than the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) maintained skywalks, when it comes to matters of maintenance.
While the skywalks maintained by the MMRDA in Mumbai have failed in easing the woes of pedestrians, skywalks maintained by CIDCO have succeeded in keeping them up to the mark. One such prime example of is the well-maintained Kharghar skywalk.
When MiD DAY visited skywalks in Kharghar, Bandra and Borivli, it was observed that the CIDCO-developed Kharghar flyover served the people better with its facilities than the Borivli (West) skywalk that even failed maintain cleanliness. The Kharghar skywalk saw dustbins placed at different points whereas the Borivli skywalk had no dustbins at all on its stretch.
The two-kilometre long Kharghar skywalk has escalator facilities for pedestrians and has not faced any breakdowns so far. Security guards have been stationed 24x7 duty and patrol the skywalk. “One of us keeps watch at the beginning of the skywalk and simultaneously, the other guard goes for a round to check whether anyone is misusing the skywalk,” explained the on-duty security guard requesting anonymity.
This skywalk is closed from 1.30 am to 3.30 am. On the other hand, the MMRDA-constructed Borivli skywalk had cracked flooring and the dustbins weren’t in their proper places. There was no security guard on duty and the skywalk stretch was filthy.
The condition of Bandra (West) skywalk, constructed by MMRDA, was no different. Dustbins here were missing from their places and pedestrians have alleged that beggars have been using the skywalk to rest at night. Security guards are present only at the station entrances, leaving the other exits without any security. At some places, the tiles have been dislodged and also paan stains are visible on the skywalk.
“Our main concern is to provide comfort and ease to pedestrians. We have many women pedestrians using the skywalk and hence, we have security guards at all times. We recently hired agencies to look after the cleanliness of the Kharghar skywalk and will update if any more things are required by the pedestrians,” said Sanjay Dahedar, executive engineer, CIDCO.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Joint Project Director, Dilip Kawatkar, MMRDA, said, “To the best of my knowledge, there are no such problems. We have designated the maintenance work to agencies and they are looking after it. If there is any maintenance problem, we will instruct the concerned agencies, who will get the skywalk repaired soon.”
“Skywalks constructed by the MMRDA have failed terribly as they fail to serve the main purpose of the skywalks. They are neither shortcuts, nor do they consist of escalators. That is why people do not prefer to use them. Hence, the huge amount of money that could have been utilised has been wasted,” said transport expert, Jitendra Gupta.