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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai 3 key BMC projects delayed as planners did not plan for these practical problems

Mumbai: 3 key BMC projects delayed as planners did not plan for these practical problems

Updated on: 30 August,2023 07:03 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sameer Surve | sameer.surve@mid-day.com

Coastal Road, Delisle Road bridge and Gokhale Road bridge will all take longer than promised due to silly errors by those who are executing them—like accounting for one arm but not for the other, not factoring monsoons, and not calculating space required for machinery

Mumbai: 3 key BMC projects delayed as planners did not plan for these practical problems

Coastal Road work takes place at the Worli Seaface on Tuesday. Pic/Ashish Raje

Key Highlights

  1. 3 key projects delayed as planners did not plan for these practical problems
  2. Coastal Road, Delisle Road bridge and Gokhale Road bridge will all take longer time
  3. Rs 13,060 cr is the present cost of Coastal Road project

Three key Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) projects—the Coastal Road, Gokhale Road bridge and Delisle Road bridge—have been delayed due to planning failures on the part of the civic body as it did not foresee certain practical problems. mid-day breaks down the issues that have plagued these projects and how they have led to the overshooting of deadlines.


Coastal Road


The BMC had started work on the ambitious project in December 2018 and the entire 10.58-km stretch from Worli to Nariman Point was to be completed by 2022. However, this was not to be due to the pandemic.


The under-construction Gokhale Road bridge in Andheri East on Tuesday. Pic/Anurag AhireThe under-construction Gokhale Road bridge in Andheri East on Tuesday. Pic/Anurag Ahire

While one lane of the Coastal Road was supposed to be ready by November 2023, officials said it's unlikely to be completed before next year. Nearly 78 per cent of the work has been completed but activities related to the reclamation of the sea wall, piles, piers, deck slabs, monopile construction, pedestrian underway and tunnel boring are in progress. “The entire project will be completed by June 2024,” an official stated.

Also read: Mumbai: Four years on, you still can’t dance on bridges

Why the delay: According to an official, as per the original plan, southbound traffic was to be allowed on the Coastal Road by November 2023, while vehicles were to be allowed to ply in the other direction from May 2024. “But later we realised that if the traffic were allowed in one direction, work on the northbound stretch may be hampered. Also, there is the possibility of road safety and other aspects as the construction machinery is humongous and needs space to manoeuvre. So, we have now decided to open both lanes between Worli and Nariman Point simultaneously in May 2024,” the official said. There were other issues such as damage to a tunnel boring machine and legal battles.

The partially open Delisle Road bridge at Lower Parel on Tuesday. Pic/Ashish Raje
The partially open Delisle Road bridge at Lower Parel on Tuesday. Pic/Ashish Raje

Additional Municipal Commissioner Ashwini Bhide, who is overseeing the construction of the coastal road project, did not respond to mid-day’s calls and messages at press time.

Connector issues: The connecting bridge between the Bandra Worli Sea Link at the Worli end has also been delayed and will now be completed by June 2024. This is due to a change in the design and the distance of the pillars. The original distance between the pillars of the bridge was 60 metres. But it has been doubled after the fishing community sought larger gaps for their boats.

Cost escalation: Owing to delays, the cost of the project has risen from Rs 12,721 crore at the time of conception to Rs 13,060 crore, a whopping Rs 820 crore increase.

Delisle Road bridge

Legions of motorists were hoping that Lower Parel's Delisle Road bridge, which was shut to traffic in July 2018, would finally be opened last year. According to the original plan, the bridge was to be completed by May 2022, but the deadline was moved forward to December 2022, and then May 2023. One arm of the bridge was finally opened in June 2023, with officials claiming that the entire bridge would be fully functional by August.

Coastal Road work takes place at the Worli Seaface on Tuesday. Pic/Ashish Raje
Coastal Road work takes place at the Worli Seaface on Tuesday. Pic/Ashish Raje

Why the delay: The BMC had planned to complete the second arm of the bridge towards NM Joshi Marg by August-end. “A single lane toward NM Joshi Marg will be opened by September and the entire bridge will be thrown open to the masses in October this year," said Additional Municipal Commissioner P Velrasu. Revealing the reasons behind the delay, another official attributed it to the heavy rains this monsoon and the shortage of gravel in the market.

Gokhale Road bridge

The BMC had closed this vital Andheri East-West connector in November 2022, which is causing traffic to congest in Andheri, Jogeshwari and Vile Parle. A part of the bridge had collapsed in 2018 after which it was kept functional with regular monitoring. After two years, the BMC issued a work order to construct an approach way to the bridge. This work could not progress due to the pandemic.

Why the delay: There have been several minor hold-ups but the most concerning one pertains to a lane of the structure that was supposed to be opened this year. The presence of 13 encroachments on the east side will need to go in order to manoeuvre heavy girders. “More space is required for the smooth operation of cranes and as per the court’s guidelines, any encroachments can only be removed after the monsoon season ends. So, the BMC decided to remove these encroachments in October 2023. Out of 13 structures, the residents of only four are eligible for rehabilitation. This is delaying the project, but we are confident of opening a single lane by Diwali. “One-side traffic will start before Diwali and the full bridge will be completed by June 2024,” said Velrasu. 

Rs 13,060 cr
Present cost of Coastal Road project

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