Mumbai: Residents are angry over closed Matunga staircase
BMC officer attached to the bridges department says cost escalation has delayed the repair work; local corporator argues that bridge is not needed.
Residents on the western side of Matunga Road Railway Station are still waiting for staircases of the road over bridge (ROB) to be repaired by the civic body. While the municipal body had sanctioned crores for ROBs in the last one year, the officers are unable to fix this particular one, citing cost escalation.
Yogini Talpade, a frequent commuter, finds it difficult to cross the crowded Senapati Bapat Marg outside Matunga station. "Earlier, we used the ROB since the route is congested by motorists. But for the last few months, the ROB has been shut. And now it gets difficult to cross the road, especially late in the night," complains Talpade.
Talpade is not the only commuter to face this issue. Nikhil Desai, a local activist and Matunga resident, expressed displeasure over about the delay in repair work. "BMC has sanctioned crores of rupees to reconstruct bridges. What is the problem in fixing this one?" asked Desai. According to an officer from the bridges department of the BMC, the staircase is closed since the Himalaya bridge incident that took place in March this year. Seven people were killed in the incident.
"The staircase was on the list of repairs in the first audit report prepared after the Andheri flyover collapse. In the second audit report after the Himalaya incident, it was suggested that the Matunga staircase needed major structural repairs. The cost for this repair work has escalated and thus, the process is delayed," the officer said.
He, however, said that the work order has been issued and repair work will begin in a month. Sheetal Gambhir, corporator of the adjacent ward, said, "Despite constant follow-ups, three FOBs on Senapati Bapat Marg towards Mahim are not repaired. The administration keeps delaying the work." Meanwhile, local corporator Vishakha Raut said that according to her, the staircase is not needed as it is blocking the footpath adjacent to it.
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