Mumbai: Bandra skywalk might not open before March
BMC awaits audit report from VJTI; commuters inconvenienced as Chamdawadi nullah widening work starts just outside Bandra East station
Even after five-and-a-half months of shutting the Bandra East skywalk citing safety concerns, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has not yet opened it up. Reason: they are still awaiting an audit report from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) based on which a decision will be taken.
The situation is not only inconveniencing pedestrians, who now cover the 1-km stretch by road, but has also delayed Western Railway's (WR) plan to connect the skywalk with the new foot-over-bridge (FOB) at the Bandra East station. What has added to the commuters' woes is the civic body's Chamdawadi nullah widening work, which has led to diversions of bus routes as well.
According to sources, the skywalk was a major relief for the commuters who would go to BKC, MHADA, Collector's office and family court, as it would connect the station with the highway.
The structure was built by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and handed over to the BMC. After the collapse of the Himalaya Bridge at CST in March, the civic body shut down many skywalks across the city, including the Bandra East one on June 19, citing safety concerns. In August this year the BMC told the high court that they were awaiting an audit report from VJTI and would take a decision after they receive it.
Requesting anonymity, an official from the Bridges Department said, "We asked VJTI to submit the report soon. The BMC will take a call on whether the skywalk needs to be repaired or reconstructed only after the report comes."
Either of the work would take another three to four months. Sources said that the skywalk might not open for commuters before March if it is not found to be in a good condition.
According to an earlier plan, the FOB constructed on the north side of the Bandra station was to be connected to the skywalk. However, the WR is also waiting for BMC's response on the skywalk.
Speaking about the Chamdawadi nulla widening and repair work, an official from the Storm-Water Drainage department said, "The BMC removed the encroachments just before monsoon. We started work last week and it will be carried out phase-wise. We will complete work on one side of the road and will then start on the second part. It will take about two to three months."
Day the skywalk was shut
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