Mumbai: BMC shuts Bandra East skywalk

Updated: Jun 20, 2019, 08:48 IST | Chetna Yerunkar and Dipali Kirpalani

While part of it was already shut due to bridge construction, now the section from the station to the court has been shut, forcing commuters to dodge vehicles on the road in the monsoon

Mumbai: BMC shuts Bandra East skywalk
Asked when the skywalk would be reopened, civic officials did not have answers. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Commuters were in for another shock on the east side of Bandra station on Wednesday, when they saw the rest of the skywalk was shut. A section of the skywalk is already shut due to MSRDC's bridge construction, now the part from the station to Bandra court has also been shut. Lakhs of people use the skywalk, but the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) decided to shut this section too, as the pillars are heavily rusted. However, when BMC officials were asked when it would be reopened, they did not have answers.

The civic administration has been shutting the bridges in the city after the CSMT foot over bridge collapsed, killing seven and injuring 31 others. The BMC had audited bridges and after checking the structural stability of the skywalk, officials decided to shut it until it is repaired or reconstructed. The bridge will now be assessed either by VJTI or IIT-Bombay experts and then its fate will be decided.

Also Read: After 13 deaths, Bandra's fatal U-bridge to be walled for safety

Pillars were found rusted

Civic sources revealed that during the inspection, the pillars were found to be rusted and weak, and thus, as a precautionary measure, the gates of the skywalk from the Bandra East station side were shut. As the station area is crowded towards the exit on the East side and several rickshaws are driven haphazardly, the closure of the bridge has caused serious inconvenience. Asked when the skywalk would be reopened, civic officials did not reply.

During the monsoon, the area is even dirty than usual and the skywalk is chosen by many pedestrians as a faster way out, without vehicular traffic interruption. Vishnu Patole, 49, who lives at Dadar is a daily commuter who used the skywalk. He said, "I used the skywalk every day and today I had to use the road. It is very difficult to travel because the road is very cramped and messy."

Another daily traveler, AK Mishra, 30, complained, "In the morning the station area is jammed, so you could walk easily due to the skywalk. Closing it has created more problems for people." Jagdish Mehta, 54, who lives in Bandra, and uses the skywalk to go to the West side said, "Shutting of a bridge is not the solution, especially during the rainy season, and as an alternative, at least they should have fixed the road."

Also Read: After 13 deaths, Bandra's fatal U-bridge to be walled for safety

Official speak

Chief Engineer of Bridges, Sanjay Darade, said, "We found the pillars to be weak and so have decided to shut it for pedestrian use as a precautionary measure. We will have experts look at the structural stability and then decide what needs to be done further."

Also Read: Mumbai: Biker hit by car, falls off Bandra's U bridge, dies

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Closed skywalk in Bandra East leave commuters fuming!

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