Milan subway, the usual suspect for traffic jams and water logging between Vile Parle and Santacruz every monsoon, will soon be history.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are planning to get rid of the subway permanently by building a railway overbridge (ROB) above it.
The idea was discussed in a recent meeting of the MMRDA and approved by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who heads it.
A proposal to build ROBs at two subways was put forth by Shiv Sena corporator and BMC Standing Committee Chairman Ravindra Waikar, who is also an invitee to the MMRDA meetings.
Waikar told HT, "Chief Minister Deshmukh, who was present in the meeting, gave his consent for the proposal."
Building the ROB would be a logical solution and can save about Rs 23 lakh of taxpayers' money that the BMC spends on the subway's maintenance. Every monsoon, the civic body erects an elevated iron bridge and puts suction pumps to drain out water.
However, the subway gets flooded every time there is a heavy rainfall, bringing traffic to a standstill in the area. It also causes water logging in adjoining areas.
It is a similar case with a subway between Andheri and Jogeshwari stations. Both subways connect the busy SV Road with the Western Express Highway and are a crucial link for traffic in the areas.
Waikar insisted that an ROB would be a better solution in the long term. Building an ROB would involve the same cost that the civic body spends in about 5-6 years to avoiding flooding of the subway. On an average, a small ROB costs about Rs 3 crore.
The Standing Committee has already written to MMRDA Metropolitan Commissioner T Chandrashekhar in this regard.
For political reasons, the Shiv Sena is keen to get the proposal cleared by the MMRDA before the code of conduct for civic polls is enforced.
Milind Mhaiskar, joint commissioner, MMRDA, said, "Even if the proposal is cleared, it will need the airport authority's nod as the airport is very close to the Milan subway."