Mumbai Skywalk audit: Borivli's walkway, sans railings is an accident waiting to happen

Dec 08, 2017, 10:58 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav and Laxman Singh

Despite the growing crowd on the skywalk here, its main arm is sans proper safety railings; authorities haven't fixed its damaged flooring either, nor cleaned up the variety of stains dotting all of its arms

Would you believe it, the arterial arm of the skywalk in Borivli — a junction that sees a huge number of footfalls on any given day - is sans railings - a disaster-in-the-waiting! Maybe authorities are waiting for an Elphinstone-like alarm to wake up.Other than this, Borivli skywalk joins the list of the filthy and broken ones — cleanliness, the lack of it, that is, and broken and missing floor tiles are the other major issues here.

The skywalk in Borivli seems to serve everyone else - lovers, beggars and anti-socials - better than those it's meant for, pedestrians
The skywalk in Borivli seems to serve everyone else - lovers, beggars and anti-socials - better than those it's meant for, pedestrians

Visit findings
Out of the six arms, three that connect to the station see huge footfalls and the remaining that pass over the busy SV Road and land on footpaths below barely have any takers. Also, in a few locations, the entrance to the landing is congested because of hawkers, making it difficult to walk during morning and evening peak hours. The arm landing on SV Road has four extensions — near Gora Gandhi hotel, Thakkar Complex, Moksh Plaza and MD Estate.

When mid-day inspected the skywalk, we found that the arm that goes towards the road near Sodawala lane is rarely used by pedestrians, and hence, has become a resting place for, yes, you guessed it right, beggars. The flooring here is so damaged and uneven, that there is a danger of pedestrians hurting themselves on broken and jagged ends of the tiles in their hurry to reach their destinations.

Pedestrians who frequent the skywalk told mid-day that the portion of it that connects platform number 1 with SV Road is plunged in darkness after sunset, courtesy non-functional lights, making it especially risky for women. For the love of...

It's not just beggars who've been using the skywalk during naptime though. Young lovers are seen loitering on it too. Other frequent users told mid-day that late at night even drug addicts camp on it. A collegian from the area said, "We have seen drug addicts gathering on the skywalk late in the night and doing drugs. If any pedestrian so much as even looks at them, they get angry and aggressive and start abusing that person. The police really need to look into this menace."

Locals added that even though cleaners swept the skywalk regularly, the iron pillars and floor were not being washed, spoiling the look of the skywalk. Paan and spit stains decorate this skywalk too, just like its counterparts elsewhere.

1 km
Length of the skywalk

Nov 2008
Month work was started on it

Jan 2011
Month work was completed

Rs 39.07 cr
Cost at which the skywalk was built

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Niggling issues
> Rods from the railings are missing.
> Floor tiles are broken and pose a risk of injury to pedestrians.
> Lack of cleanliness and hygiene is a major eyesore.
> Hawkers and beggars frequenting it cause inconvenience to people.

Local take
Neerav Miyani, businessman
'Considering how crowded the roads and footpaths are, with vehicles and hawkers, respectively, the skywalk is a boon. Hence, it's all the more sad that it's not being maintained at all. The tiles need to be mended and the floor make smooth to walk on. Also, security guards should be posted on it, so that hawkers and beggars don't make it their haunt'

Akash Agre, Borivli resident
'The skywalk project was a really good idea, but its maintenance is pathetic. It needs to be improved and fast. All of its arms should connect to the station. This will reduce the crowding on the three that link to the station currently, as well as increase footfalls on the other three that are lying isolated and neglected at the moment'

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