Mumbai: Forest bump stands in way of Yari Road-Lokhandwala bridge
BMC ready to begin work on Yari Road-Lokhandwala bridge for six months, but are yet to get green light from Forest Department
For the past six months, the BMC has been waiting for the Forest Department to give the green light for the proposed Rs 33.71-crore bridge from Yari Road to Lokhandwala. The bridge, once built, will reduce travel time between the two points from 20 minutes to just five. But, commuters still have a wait ahead of them.
While the civic body had already hired a contractor a year ago, the forest authorities are yet to issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the project, which passes through mangroves.
Residents of Yari Road and Versova currently have to take a longer route, driving 2 to 2.5 km to get to Link Road. This bridge construction will cut that distance down to 350 metres.
Around 25 to 30 mangrove trees which will have to be removed, but the BMC has assured the Mangroves Cell that it will replant five times as many trees, said civic officials. However, since the area falls under the jurisdiction of Forest Department, the NOC is crucial, said officials from the bridge department.
The officers now fear that if the permission doesn't come in soon, the work contract will lapse, and they will either have to extend the contract or hire a new contractor. Sources revealed that next month, after the Assembly session is concluded, the BMC will approach the Forest Department and ask them to speed up the NOC process. "We have also given an undertaking to them that no human settlement will be affected because of the bridge. There will be precautions taken for locals; an underpass has been planned so they can access the approach roads. The bridge will be a steel arch structure and will be constructed of RCC," said a senior civic official.
Sanjay Darade, chief engineer (Bridges) did not respond to mid-day's repeated requests for comment. PCCF AK Misra said, "I will have to check the details before I can comment on the matter."
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