Despite flak, BMC to spend Rs 20 crore on Kurla skywalk | Mumbai News – Times of India


MUMBAI: Despite several skywalks in Mumbai turning into white elephants, and many having been dismantled as they became dilapidated, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will soon construct a skywalk in Kurla West worth Rs 20 crore.
The BMC has proposed to construct a skywalk from Taximen’s Colony to Shrikrishna Chowk and officials said that the skywalk would give relief to pedestrians in the area.
The BMC administration has placed the skywalk proposal before the civic Standing Committee. According to officials, local elected representatives had demanded that since there is a lot of traffic congestion in the area, there is no place for pedestrians to walk and so a skywalk should be constructed.
“This proposed skywalk will be 300 meters long and will be 4.25 metro-wide. It will be built using Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) and steel. There will be two escalators also for people so that they don’t have to climb stairs. We will be spending around Rs 50 lakhs to remove the underground utilities that will be affected while constructing the skywalk. It will take around 15 months for the skywalk to be completed,” said a civic official.
The BMC also said that it had appointed a consultant spending around Rs 28 lakhs. “The consultant was picked to design and plan the skywalk and suggest technical details,” the official said.
The BMC which is facing a cash crunch recently decided to put on hold the reconstruction of Mumbai’s first skywalk in Bandra (East) which closed down in 2019. The skywalk was declared unsafe for pedestrians. The BMC was planning to re-construct one arm of the skywalks but put the plan on hold citing financial constraints. The first skywalk inaugurated in Mumbai was the 1.3-kilometre skywalk at Bandra (East) in June 2008. It had cost Rs 13 crore.
Over the years, the MMRDA has constructed 23 skywalks in Mumbai. MMRDA officials said that the agency had spent around Rs 700 crore on constructing skywalks and the annual maintenance is about Rs 2.5 crore. Later all the existing skywalks were then handed over to the BMC for maintenance and upkeep.
Soon after the Bandra (East) skywalk was shut, the BMC initiated a safety audit of the 24 skywalks in the city. Experts from the Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) were asked to study the skywalks to ensure they are structurally fit for use. In 2019, the BMC had also shut down the skywalk in Dahisar (West) because it was reported to be unsafe for use.
In March 2019 this year, after seven people were killed in the collapse of the Himalaya FOB near CST, the MMDRA had written to the BMC suggesting a structural audit of skywalks be undertaken.
The BMC had ordered a re-audit of all 296 FOBs and road overbridges (ROBs) in Mumbai after the collapse of the Himalaya FOB.

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