Mumbai: Skywalks located on SV road across three suburbs to make way for metro 2
While the BMC has given its nod to demolish the walkways in Bandra, Santacruz and Vile Parle, neither the civic body nor MMRDA has an alternative plan for pedestrians
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority is all set to demolish three skywalks on S V Road at Bandra, Santacruz and Vile Parle to make way for the Metro line II-B. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) approved the proposal last month, but neither MMRDA nor the BMC has any alternative plan for pedestrians who use the skywalks regularly.
Portions of the skywalks on the 28-metre wide S V road will be permanently demolished to make way for the Metro 2B line, the MMRDA stated. While 563 metres of the skywalk will be demolished at Bandra, 23 metres will be demolished at Santacruz and 28.5 metres at Vile Parle, an MMRDA official said. "The demolition of the skywalks will be done in coordination with the Traffic Police and BMC officials. The time schedule is yet to be finalised. Appropriate boards will be displayed before demolition," said the MMRDA spokesperson.
The skywalk on SV Road at Bandra West near Lucky Restaurant is a rather long and winding one, connecting a number of places
Locals, however, are upset with the development. Pedestrians will affected the most, especially in Santacruz where several students take the skywalk. Pallavi Satam, mother of a Class VI student of Podar School, feels that the skywalk serves as an important east-west crossing and its removal will mean crossing the busy road. Another parent Sonu Javalkar, a Santacruz resident, said, "If they are demolishing the skywalk for good then they should provide another safe option to cross the road."
The skywalk at Bandra West
Haji Zameer Sheikh, trustee of Bandra Urdu High School and junior college, similarly felt that there was an urgent need for a subway near the Bandra station. "The Lucky junction signal is a very busy one and risky for devotees at the masjid as also for young school students. We have been asking for a subway for a long time now," he said.
Criticising the MMRDA, Anandini Thakoor, member of the Khar Residents' Association pointed out that the taxpayers' money has been wasted in constructing skywalks when subways would have been a better choice. "Many years ago, former DCP P S Pasricha heading the Road Safety Patrol Advisory Committee had suggested that subways should be constructed near the Lucky signal and National College. But the MMRDA made skywalks without even consulting the Traffic department," she said.
The skywalk at Santacruz West that students are most upset about. Pics/Bipin Kokate
'Not many use skywalk'
Officials of the MMRDA and BMC's bridges department stated that few people currently use the skywalk and that is the reason behind not providing an alternative arrangement for pedestrians. The statement said that no alternative arrangement is possible at Vile Parle due to the Juhu Airport Funnel Zone and at Bandra and Santacruz, the remaining portion of the skywalks will be connected through the unused area of Khira Nagar and Bandra Metro stations. Pedestrians, however, will not have direct access to cross SV Road.
Both the MMRDA and BMC, however, have no data on the number of pedestrians using the subway. Since the skywalks were constructed by MMRDA and later handed over to the BMC for maintenance, they were not included in the civic body's comprehensive mobility plan either.
Cost of skywalk construction
Built between 2007-2008:
* Santacruz: Rs 41 crore
* Bandra: Rs 19 crore
* Vile Parle: Rs 14 crore
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates
Elections 2019: First-time voters share their thoughts