Part of the Shrikrishna Nagar bridge is still to be completed, as the civic body hasn’t received forest dept land. But, it turns out that BMC is yet to provide documents to the forest dept
The BMC opened half of the Shrikrishna Nagar bridge (which is not on the forest department’s land) in March. Pic/Anurag Ahire
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC has finally tried to find a solution for the delayed work of Shrikrishna Nagar bridge. The municipal commissioner on Monday instructed the officials concerned to initiate the process by sending him a proposal about the same. The work of the bridge has halted, as the BMC hasn’t yet got the forest department’s land. But it has come to light that the BMC hasn’t provided a document to the forest department despite repeated follow-ups from its own department.
What the issue is
The bridge on the Dahisar River is a crucial link between Shrikrishna Nagar in Borivli to the Western Express Highway. The bridge was closed in 2021 after part of it collapsed and thereafter was declared as dilapidated. But the new bridge is still not complete, as the extended part of the bridge lands in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. After a people’s agitation, the BMC opened up half of the bridge (which is not a forest land) in March. The BMC hasn’t yet acquired the forest department’s NOC for the construction of the remaining part.
While the BMC was content to point fingers at the forest department over the delay in the Shrikrishna Nagar bridge reconstruction, mid-day has found that the delay is actually due to the BMC itself. The forest department requires a letter from the BMC’s ward-level committee about the work of the bridge. But as the civic term ended in March 2022, the ward committee doesn’t exist. The Bridges Department then approached the R central ward for the letter. Following the dissolution of the BMC and no subsequent civic elections, all power now rests with administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal.
“The authority may not be with the R central ward but they have to put forth the proposal to the commissioner for permission, as it is a local level issue. The bridges department sent a letter to the R C ward seven months back and has been following up on the matter but has received no response,” an official from the Bridges Department told mid-day.
Administrator takes action
“We discussed the issue with the commissioner on Monday. He instructed the DMC of zone VII (under whom R Central Ward comes) to send him a proposal. He will sanction it and send it to the forest department. He even asked the official to follow up with the Nagpur headquarters of the forest department,” said Prakash Surve, local MLA from Borivli who had a meeting with the civic chief on the subject.
BMC officials said that only 15 per cent of the bridge is on forest land and does not affect the wildlife, but transfer of the land from the forest department to the BMC will need requisite permissions. The proposal was sent to the forest department’s Mumbai office over a year ago and permission was granted in March this year. The proposal was then forwarded to the forest department headquarters in Nagpur. However, they will require a letter from the local authority (R Central ward) before granting the permission.