Why not work on Bal Thackeray flyover extension too, civic body asks MMRDA
The development authority's work on Metro II and VI clashes with the flyover extension and it can thus work on both projects together, BMC officials feel
In order to avoid confusion and delays, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed to hand over the Bal Thackeray flyover extension project at Jogeshwari to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), considering its interlay with the Metro VI (Swami Samarth Nagar to Kanjurmarg). An official decision on the cost-sharing agreement is still pending.
The proposed alignment of the flyover extension at Jogeshwari is the same as that of Metro VI, thus jeopardising both projects for over two years. Following a detailed design study of the projects, the BMC has concluded that two separate agencies working on the same alignment will not just cause delays, but also escalate the cost of the project.
The Bal Thackeray flyover is currently operational between SV road in Jogeshwari West to Western Express Highway on the east. Its extension is likely to clash with Metro VI at various locations.
The engineering marvel
The projects together are set to be an engineering marvel at the Infinity Mall junction near Lokhandwala, Andheri (Link Road) with three important infrastructure projects supported on a single pillar. Three decks - first level of the flyover, second level of Metro IIA and third level of Metro VI - will be built here at a vertical distance of about 8 to 10 meters from each other.
The Metro VI and Bal Thackeray flyover extension run on the same pillars from Lokhandwala to Millat hospital area and then the Metro runs parallel to the Thackeray flyover between Millat hospital and Shyam Nagar on the Jogeshwari East side and again running on the same pillar up to Poonam Nagar.
The flyover extension and the Metro VI will also run above Metro VII (Dahisar East to Andheri East) and Western Express Highway (WEH) at two points. After the extension work is completed, the flyover will connect Lokhandwala to Poonam Nagar in Jogeshwari East, cutting down travel time by over half an hour on this route.
MMRDA's nod awaited
A senior civic official working on the project said that the civic team was to undertake work on the flyover extension at seven locations. "The difficulty at location two and four was that work needed to be done before the commencement of Metro VI. At location three, work was to be done simultaneously with Metro VI and at location one and seven, work was to be done after the completion of Metro VI," he explained.
However, this meant spending Rs 42.73 crore more than the initial budget and taking about five years for the project completion. "It is thus proposed that MMRDA should complete both projects. The proposal will now be presented to the Municipal Commissioner and MMRDA authorities. In our preliminary communication, we have told them that we are ready to pay our share," the civic official said.
Joint Project Director and MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar said that his team would verify the BMC's proposal and "in due course of time appropriate action will be taken." Chief Engineer of Bridges department Sanjay Darade was unavailable for comment.
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