Mumbai skywalk audit: Dahisar walkway is the definition of dilapidated

Updated: 12 December, 2017 10:17 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Dahisar skywalk, literally falling apart at the seams, sure knows how to strike fear in the hearts of people - rickety with chunks missing or collapsing, and a portion of it closed for months, with no repairs in sight

Six years on, floor collapsed, leading to partial closure - that's the latest on the Dahisar skywalk. That said, its condition overall doesn't need to be explained further, as it is plagued by the same problems its counterparts are. Opened in 2011, the 850-metre-long skywalk in Dahisar West provides east-west connectivity, linking to the sole foot overbridge (FOB) at the station. And despite its crumbling condition, people have been using it, only because the station itself barely has any infrastructure.

The closed section of the Dahisar skywalk where the floor caved in earlier this year
The closed section of the Dahisar skywalk where the floor caved in earlier this year

Falling apart
"The skywalk has been preferred by pedestrians since it opened, as the railway station does not have adequate number of FOBs. There's just the one, besides two subways. Most avoid the subways as they are completely dark and dirty," said Ramesh Solanki, a regular commuter.

A liability with defects
The skywalk has been in the news since it opened - it developed cracks in 2012, just a year after it was finished, and earlier this year, a major chunk of its floor gave away, injuring a senior citizen and leading to one of its portions in the west being closed for public; however, so far, the authorities haven't bothered to carry out repairs wherever needed.

Locals say the structure is severely damaged and shakes when someone walks on it
Locals say the structure is severely damaged and shakes when someone walks on it

When the cracks had first appeared in 2012, they were so big that people's feet would get caught in them. This happened during the defect liability period, when the MMRDA was maintaining it. The agency promised to fix it but hasn't till date. When mid-day paid a visit, we saw that in many locations the skywalk was falling apart with damaged tiles, loose railings and connections to bridges and staircases broken.

"The staircases are damaged with tiles coming out in several places. At one entrance, the last few steps are missing, leading to problems for senior citizens like me," said Mahalaxmi Iyer, a local.

Length of the skywalk

Rs 15cr
Cost at which it was built

Year it was opened for public

Year the first cracks appeared

Year a portion of its floor collapsed


Niggling issues
> The 10-foot floor stretch that gave way earlier this year remains shut and is yet to be repaired.
> Loose railings make walking on the skywalk a risky affair.
> Some of the staircases have a few steps missing and tiles broken in several places.
> The arms connecting to existing bridges are in a dilapidated condition.

Local take
Rohini V. Achrekar, a commuter
Rohini V. Achrekar'We are very scared to use the skywalk. It shakes as you walk on it. It is not just about the collapsed floor; the staircases and floorings are broken and safety railings are loose. The BMC should not play with citizens' lives like this and fix the issues before any disaster occurs'




Anil Galgali, RTI activist
Anil Galgali'This skywalk displays MMRDA's shoddy work and shamelessness. Clueless what to do with it, the agency has now handed the skywalk over to the BMC. It is
time to conduct a thorough audit of all skywalks and demolish the ones that are not required or pose a safety hazard. We cannot play with citizens' lives like this. Some department in the BMC has to be given its responsibility'

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First Published: 12 December, 2017 10:06 IST

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