Reconstruct Bandra (E) skywalk within 15 months: HC to BMC | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Reconstruct Bandra (E) skywalk within 15 months: HC to BMC

ByK A Y Dodhiya
Apr 26, 2023 12:05 AM IST

The HC passed the order in a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate KPP Nair, a resident of Bandra (East), who had complained of facing problems while commuting from his home to the station and back during peak hours. He had claimed that the absence of sufficient pavements and a narrow access road to the station from the Western Express Highway (WEH), resulted in accidents.

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to complete in 15 months reconstruction of skywalk, which connects Bandra station in the east to MHADA and leads towards Bandra Kurla Complex. The court also asked the civic body to ensure that all such skywalks in the city are made ideal for their best possible utilisation.

The high court was informed that after the skywalk, constructed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), had been dismantled for safety reasons, residents and people working in Bandra (East) had to use the narrow road, which connects the station to the WEH. (HT PHOTO)
The high court was informed that after the skywalk, constructed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), had been dismantled for safety reasons, residents and people working in Bandra (East) had to use the narrow road, which connects the station to the WEH. (HT PHOTO)

The HC passed the order in a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate KPP Nair, a resident of Bandra (East), who had complained of facing problems while commuting from his home to the station and back during peak hours. He had claimed that the absence of sufficient pavements and a narrow access road to the station from the Western Express Highway (WEH), resulted in accidents.

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The division bench of justice GS Kulkarni and justice RN Laddha also directed the civic authorities to consider using mechanised walkways and escalators for making the skywalk accessible to senior citizens and differently abled persons.

The court was informed that after the skywalk, constructed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), had been dismantled for safety reasons, residents and people working in Bandra (East) had to use the narrow road, which connects the station to the WEH. The petitioner had claimed that as there was only one pavement, people were forced to walk on the roads through vehicular traffic, which led to accidents.

Nair, who is also a senior citizen, had claimed that people like him found it difficult to walk on the crowded pavement and the road. He said that it was difficult to cross the busy WEH, and therefore sought directions to the civic authorities to restore the skywalk as it fell under their jurisdiction.

The bench had directed the BMC to respond to the issues raised in the PIL by March 20. The BMC filed an affidavit by Chandrakant Suryavanshi, assistant engineer (bridges), wherein it was stated that though a tender for restoration of the skywalk had been awarded in 2022, due to some new issues, the award was foreclosed.

Advocate Karan Bhosale for the BMC stated that steps had been taken to issue fresh tenders within two months and the bench was assured that construction of the skywalk would be made in 15 months from awarding the contract.

The court appreciated the stand taken by the BMC and said that the restored skywalk should be of high standard and of long durability, so that it would remain a permanent facility unlike the previous skywalk that had to be dismantled due to inferior quality.

The bench also suggested that the BMC and other authorities should consider use of mechanised walkways or escalators and elevators for the skywalks, like those provided for local railways and metro stations, as it would benefit commuters including senior citizens and disabled persons.

The bench added that the concerned authorities should ensure that proper lighting was installed on the skywalks and ensure that miscreants, squatters and unauthorised hawkers do not occupy the skywalks.

Stressing on the need for such measures the bench said that along with the BMC, other authorities should also consider such aspects for all existing skywalks in the city to ensure their best possible utilisation.

While disposing of the PIL, the bench also directed BMC to consider the demand of Nair to provide a proper pavement for around 200 metres between Bandra (East) Railway station and HDIL office. The bench directed Nair to make a representation to the civic authority within two days and asked the BMC to consider it appropriately.

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