How to boost connectivity without affecting the nature? The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seems to have found an answer to this question in Andheri, where it plans to construct two 500-m cable-stayed bridges in Andheri (West) for Rs 140 crore, so minimal damage is caused to the mangrove cover.
The original plan, to build three bridges for smoother movement between Yari Road and Lokhandwala Complex, has been stuck for ---- as it involved destruction of mangroves. Tweaking its plan, the BMC has now decided to build two of the three bridges as cable-stayed ones. While one bridge will connect the fisheries institute to the link road, the other will link Janki Devi school to Amarnath tower. “Cable-stayed bridges will increase the cost of the project, but that seems to be the only way to minimize damage to the mangrove cover,” said SO Kori, chief engineer, bridges. “We are considering the option,” said SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner.
Currently, reaching Lokhandwala from Yari Road via seven bungalows takes more than an hour. The bridges will provide direct connectivity between Yari Road and Lokhandwala and will reduce the traffic congestion at JP road and Seven Bungalows.
The 210-m bridge connecting Yari Road to the Lokhandwala junction near Amarnath building will be built at a cost of Rs30 crore. The BMC has sent a proposal for the bridge to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) for approval. “We plan to undertake an environment impact assessment for the bridges, which will also be submitted to the MCZMA soon,” said Kori.
Environmentalists welcomed the move, maintaining an impact study should be undertaken. “The bridge is vital for connectivity, but not at the cost of environment. The BMC could also explore the option of tunnels, instead of cable-stayed bridges,” said Rishi Aggraval, environmentalist.