The city’s most expensive skywalk, which is being constructed at Nana Chowk, has been delayed till August due to unfinished work pertaining to escalators and staircases. According to the latest deadline, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd (MSRDC) was supposed to open the 510-meter skywalk to the public in mid-June.
“Due to monsoon, some of the skywalk work is delayed. The remaining work is expected to finish in a month. The skywalk will be made open to people in August,” said MSRDC managing director Bipin Shrimali.
The original cost of the project was Rs39 crore when work commenced way back in 2008. As per the original deadline, the skywalk was supposed to be ready in June 2009. The cost has now escalated to Rs50.48 crore due to the four-year delay.
The oval-shaped skywalk, which is supported by 16 stress cables suspended from a central tower located at Nana Chowk, has three escalators and four staircases for its different arms. The MSRDC is yet to finish construction of these escalators and staircases.
“We are left with some work pertaining to escalators and elevators, which will be completed soon. In addition, finishing touches are being given to the skywalk,” said MSRDC chief engineer Subhash Nage.
Although the MSRDC claims that the skywalk will witness about 50,000 pedestrians daily, transport experts refute their claim. Transport expert Ajit Shenoy said: “The staircases and escalators have been built at the wrong locations — they are not in the direction of pedestrian flow. So commuters will not prefer to take the skywalk.”