Mumbai: Seven buildings need to go to make way for Hancock Bridge
Alignment goof-up forces BMC to serve notices to 660 families in four MHADA, three pvt societies who have lived there for decades
Months after laying the new and wider girders of the Hancock Bridge across railway lines, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has realised that a few buildings on Shivdas Chapsi Marg are coming in the way of the bridge's alignment. In view of this, it has issued notices to seven buildings located along one side of the road, as they would have to be demolished to make way for the bridge. Though the civic body has said that they will provide alternative accommodation to the 660 families residing in the seven societies, all of them are reluctant to move out.
However, on Wednesday BMC teams demolished some of the civic body's structures, a Meghwad Samaj office and a temple on the other side to widen the road.
Some structures along Shivdas Chapsi Marg were demolished on Wednesday for the Hancock Bridge; (far right) Pragati Society, that has been issued notice
The new bridge, which is 65 metres long and 15 metres wide, weighs 660 metric tonnes. Parts of its frame were brought in from Chandigarh as the entire structure was too big to be transported as a complete frame. Now the team of engineers will again assemble it with over 20,000 bolts. The girders were pushed across railway lines in July this year and another lane of the bridge would be built in the next six months. The cost of construction of the bridge is estimated to be around '52 crore.
The buildings that have been served notices include Meghaji Society, Thavar Mansion-4, Thavar Mansion-3, Thavar Mansion-2, Pragati Society, Shaikhbai Society and Shakinabai Mansion.
'Will give accommodation'
Speaking to mid-day, E ward assistant commissioner Makrand Dagadkhaire said, "The land on which the seven societies are standing is needed for construction of the Hancock Bridge. We have already given them notices to vacate the premises. Of the buildings, four belong to MHADA and three are private buildings. We have also given a notice to MHADA asking them to get the buildings vacated and provide accommodation to the residents. We will also give accommodation to the residents of the private societies."
BMC teams demolish some other structures on Shivdas Chapsi Marg to widen the road
"Many rumours regarding construction of the bridge are doing the rounds. In the notices we have mentioned that the buildings need to be demolished to make way for the bridge," added Dagadkhaire.
When asked about the notices, social activist Kamlakar Shenoy said, "The BMC issued notices to the buildings in August end. It's impossible for people to leave their homes on an immediate basis. They should give notices to residents six months prior to the work. I had filed an RTI query in the case. The reply says that nothing on record has been found which proves that the bridge is dangerous or in a dilapidated condition."
'Power, water cuts'
Dagadkhaire further said, "The residents have not vacated the premises yet. If they don't vacate the buildings, their electricity and water supply will be cut. Later with the help of police we will vacate the premises. We have to complete this project."
Speaking to mid-day, Ranjan Mali, chairman of Bachao Samiti group and resident of Pragati society, said, "Seven buildings received notices on August 18. To save our societies we formed a 'Bachao Samiti' group on September 9. The notices mention that we have to vacate our houses for construction of the Hancock Bridge and will be given alternative accommodations. However, nothing particular has been said in this regard. In it's earlier plan the BMC hadn't mentioned anything about demolishing buildings. Suddenly they came up with a new plan. We have also written a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Only if we get accommodations in Mazgaon area, we will vacate our houses."
A part of the Hancock Bridge was joined in July this year. File pic
Meanwhile, the temple and the Meghwad Samaj office demolished on Wednesday were located inside a civic colony. A resident of the colony said, "Around 25 years ago we constructed the temple of Chamunda Mataji and it got demolished just before Navratri. All the idols in the temple were donated by the residents."
Total cost of construction of Hancock Bridge
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