Mumbai: Closure of skywalk delays relief for breathless Bandra station

Updated: Jul 13, 2019, 07:37 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar

It was set to get one of the widest FOBs in the city, which was to be linked to the skywalk; with the latter shut, the new bridge will need a staircase landing if it is to be opened soon

Mumbai: Closure of skywalk delays relief for breathless Bandra station
The new foot overbridge was to be connected to the skywalk. Pic/Bipin Kokate

The Western Railway's carefully curated R8-crore plan of decongesting Bandra station's east side has gone haywire with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) playing spoilsport, and shutting down the skywalk for repairs without a notice or deadline.

After studying the crowd movement and congestion, the WR had nipped the problem in the bud for east-west connectivity, by planning one of the widest footbridges in the city at the station. mid-day had reported this, Breathless Bandra station to get relief with new FOB, on November 15, 2018. mid-day had highlighted the issue of encroachments and the narrow bridge in its report that was done during the railway station audit series, and following up on the matter.

"We have been building a 10-metre wide bridge that is about 102 metres in length at a cost of about R8 crore, which was to be linked to the skywalk. It would have provided additional connectivity to the Bandra skywalk, as well as helped decongest the existing middle footbridge. But the plan will work only after the skywalk reopens. We will now have to incorporate a staircase landing in the east if we need to open the bridge soon," a senior divisional railway official said. BMC officials said that the skywalk was shut on June 20 after inspection when the pillars were found to be weak. There was no response as to when it would reopen.

The new railway bridge was supposed to open in March 2019, but had been delayed due to complications of land and encroachments. Work on the last foundations was on when the BMC shut the skywalk. According to a survey conducted by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and Wilbur Smith, Bandra station sees 4,91,106 passengers daily, the third-highest on WR, after Churchgate and Andheri. Messages sent to BMC's chief engineer Sanjay Darade remained unanswered.

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