Access to Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) will get a little tougher for thousands of people who take the train.
This is not due to a problem with train services, but the most convenient foot over-bridge (FOB) connecting Bandra east with the west, will be partially shut for three months due to the damage caused to it by the inferno that gutted Garib Nagar slums on March 4.
The Western Railway (WR) will be demolishing 80 metres of the FOB affected by the fire, of the total 190 metres. There is another FOB towards the north of the station that has an exit at the Bandra Terminus end.
On the night of March 4, around 3 metres of the FOB collapsed after the columns supporting it gave way due to the heat. The collapsed portion runs directly above the Garib Nagar slums.
This also had an indirect effect on the city’s first skywalk built by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) connecting Bandra station and Kherwadi. The exit of this skywalk is directly on the portion of the FOB that collapsed due to the fire. The skywalk too would become partially redundant even though the extent of damage wasn’t much.
“It will take at least 3 months to rebuild this portion and connect it with the rest of the FOB,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, Western Railway. The cost would be around Rs 3 crore.
The WR has also suggested to the MMRDA to connect the extended FOB, adjacent to the one that got damaged, with the skywalk.
“We had earlier received a proposal to improve connectivity by adding an arm to the skywalk with the railway FOB,” said Dilip Kawatkhar, joint project director and PRO, MMRDA.
In this year’s Railway Budget a sum of Rs 20 lakh was allotted for completing work on FOBs at Lower Parel, Elphinstone Road, Bandra, Goregaon, Vasai, Nalasopara and Virar.
At Bandra, a new FOB is under construction that would connect the Harbour line at the north end.