mid day editorial: Let's raise our skywalks to better standards

Dec 07, 2017, 07:12 IST | mid-day correspondent

Walking on the Wadala and Cotton Green skywalks will put most people at unease; in fact, the only people who seem to be at ease there are the beggars and anti-social elements who have made it their home

Walking on the Wadala and Cotton Green skywalks will put most people at unease; in fact, the only people who seem to be at ease there are the beggars and anti-social elements who have made it their home. This paper, in its safety audit series, has been keeping an eye on skywalks across the city. The Wadala skywalk has lights on the blink; people traverse the stretch using the light from their cell phones. Under cover of darkness, couples have made the skywalk a make-out zone. In other places on the skywalk, we see drug users. Corners have been used as open-air loos. The problems seem common to most skywalks across the city, which makes it all the more vital to take action.

This paper has reported on numerous problems at the octopus-like Nana Chowk skywalk, stretching its steely tentacles across SoBo. An escalator at the skywalk has been defunct for months now. In fact, this escalator functioned only for a while after the skywalk was opened, after which it stayed shut, working sporadically for a day or two, only to close again. A near deserted part of the skywalk became a favourite haunt for couples looking to get it on. The skywalk barely sees any commuters or patrolling cops. Locals claim the space is rather frequented by junkies and drunks.

While it may be impossible to patrol every skywalk, lights should be functional at all of them. Helpline numbers must be posted at the skywalk for citizens' safety. Dustbins must be made available on the skywalk, not just below it. Finally, problems like broken railings or non-functional lights need to be attended to immediately.
Skywalks are part of Mumbai's infrastructure, and we have to ensure that they are a safe, useful space for citizens. Let's skywalk the talk.

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