Mumbai: Deadlock ends, work on Vikhroli bridge resumes
Local MP, church representatives and BMC officials resolve the tussle over encroachments and the flyover's alignment
Work on the Vikhroli road bridge, a crucial east-west link connecting the arterial LBS Road with the Eastern Express Highway has been sped up after deadlock over the bridge's proximity to the St Joseph's Church and School and the issue of encroachments was resolved on Monday. The resolution is a result of marathon meetings between local Member of Parliament (MP) Manoj Kotak, BMC officials and church representatives.'
Kotak visited the site on Monday and after the meeting, has set a 15-day deadline to clear encroachments. mid-day has been continually reporting about the flyover's construction and the issues it has been facing. The road bridge is being built in place of a level crossing, which was shut in 2011. The level crossing used to witness heavy traffic and was a nightmare for smooth railway operations. It was also risky as a large number of commuters used to cross it en masse, ignoring speeding trains.
Following several deaths, the Central Railway (CR) initially decided to build a foot overbridge and shut the crossing. Accordingly, in an overnight operation, the level crossing was finally closed on the night of September 17, 2011.
The priests and parishioners of St Joseph's Church and functionaries of the Bombay Catholic Sabha played a significant role in getting it closed and pushing for a new bridge.
However, the alignment of the new bridge ended up being too close to the school building and its pillars would have blocked access to the school leading to inconvenience for students and school buses.
"After the meeting on Monday, most of the issues appear to be resolved as I have given directives to the (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) BMC to free the land of encroachments and conclude the land acquisition, which involves a BEST depot in Vikhroli West and some private property," Kotak said. BMC officials said they are confident of meeting the deadline.
The crucial east-west linking flyover will come up near the St Joseph’s Church outside Vikhroli railway station in the West
"On Monday morning, the Bombay Catholic Sabha's Vikhroli unit led by me and vice-president Robert D'Souza had a fruitful meeting with our MP along with S and N Ward officers of the BMC, the civic Chief Engineer and his team from the Bridge Department at St Joseph Church's compound. The main topics of ensuring that the flyover does not come too close to the school building and the pillars do not create obstructions was cleared and confirmed,"Mario Rodrigues, a representative of the church and chairman of Bombay Catholic Sabha's Vikhroli unit told mid-day.
No. of days given to BMC to clear encroachments
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