Mumbai skywalk audit: Ghatkopar walkway doubles up as a haven for love birds

Updated: Dec 15, 2017, 12:51 IST | Laxman Singh | Mumbai

Since Metro I, footfalls at the two skywalks here have risen, but couples, druggies and poor maintenance have been pushing people to try and avoid using them

Metro I (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar) has led to a tremendous rise in footfalls at Ghatkopar railway station, thousands of commuters using it to go from the western line to central line and vice versa. As a result, the number of people using its two skywalks, connecting east to west via a railway foot overbridge (FOB), too has shot up.

A roofless staircase of the arm that lands on Shraddhanand Road in the west
A roofless staircase of the arm that lands on Shraddhanand Road in the west

Pedestrians and commuters exiting or heading to Ghatkopar Metro station as well as railway station take it; and they all have to put up with much nuisance and the skywalks' shoddy state.

Where druggies haunt
The one in the west has become a haunt for young couples and youths to get up to all sorts of activities that they can't do at home - cigarettes and drugs. On this 400-metre stretch, couples can be seen sitting on the railings, engaging in obscene acts. All of this has started discouraging people from taking the skywalk.

Couples engaging in indecent acts has been discouraging people from using the skywalk, say locals
Couples engaging in indecent acts has been discouraging people from using the skywalk, say locals

mid-day also found broken and loose tiles on the staircase that connects to the railway FOB on the western side, while the roof of the arm that lands on Shraddhanand Road in the west is completely broken.

Broken and damaged
On the eastern side, the longest arm of the skywalk terminates next to the local ward office. In between, there is one near the LIC office, which lands on both sides of the road. Another arm ends at Patel Chowk, where mid-day found people sleeping.

Pedestrians say broken tiles with their jagged edges pose a risk
Pedestrians say broken tiles with their jagged edges pose a risk

While tiles on this side too are damaged, there's also the problem of narrow entry-exit points, which don't allow more than two people to pass at a time. There's one small mercy though - it's probably one of the few stations where a lift is available for the skywalk, and it was working when mid-day visited.

Local take

Ravi Mahadik, Ghatkopar resident
'The main problem on this skywalk is on the western side - couples sitting on the railings and their indecent acts, which create a lot of discomfort for the people. On the other side, there are youths smoking and getting up to all kinds of mischief'

Pratik Surve, Ghatkopar resident
'The entry-exit points on the eastern side are too narrow. During peak hours, it leads to crowding. The staircase of the connecting skywalk is broken. Also, tiles are broken; these need to be fixed to avoid any accident'

Rs 16.55 cr
Cost at which the skywalk in the west was built

Rs 23.81 cr
Cost at which the skywalk in the east was built

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