BMC set to make space for digital libraries, reflexology zones under bridges
Given the dearth of open spaces in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to create urban spaces under four bridges in H (east) ward comprising — green buffer zones to reduce air quality index (AQI) levels, digital libraries, and reflexology zones
Mumbai: Given the dearth of open spaces in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to create urban spaces under four bridges in H (east) ward comprising — green buffer zones to reduce air quality index (AQI) levels, digital libraries, and reflexology zones.
Swanapaja Kshirsagar, assistant commissioner H east ward. said, the beautification under BKC connector, Kherwadi, Hansbugra junction near Kalina University and Vakola bridges will be at an estimated cost of ₹15-20 crores. The tenders will be invited this month and the project is expected to be completed in four months.
“Bridges are an integral part of a city’s infrastructure,” said Aseem Gokarn, architect appointed for the project. “In our journey of growth, we have often missed out on amenity space development. When I was entrusted with this work, we believed in impact landscaping.”
Having conducted a survey of the areas to understand the end user of the beautified bridge since urban space beautification falls prey to vandalism, Gokarn said, “While commuters, who travel from both sides of the bridge, would see it only from an aesthetic point of view, it’s important that the user benefits since it develops a sense of ownership and the urban space is looked after.”
While the philosophy underlying the 120-metre BKC connector is Mumbai’s journey to a more eco-conscious phase, the Kherwadi junction bridge will showcase a unique concept of green zones at both ends to absorb dust pollution.
“We thought the end user shouldn’t be exposed directly to the volatile organic compounds or exhaust fumes. Our first attempt was to uplift that bridge to some extent by raising the height, so we are not exposing the user to the fumes and is closer to the sunlight that is reaching,” said Gokarn.
The space under 80-metre Kherwadi bridge will be divided into active and passive recreational spaces. The passive recreation area will have swings with slight rocking motion for senior citizens, a reflexology zone and space for a digital library, where people can scan and read on their mobiles or tablets or even work on their laptops. The active zone will be designed with adventurous in situ equipment to cater to children and as well as the differently-abled.
The area under the Hansbugra junction 190-metre bridge, surrounded by slums, will have a walking space, a senior citizen zone to do Yoga, zones for older children, toddlers and differently abled children, an open gym, an art installation called ‘colours of life’, reflexology pathway and green buffer zones to trap the dust from reaching the inside area under the flyover.
The 190-metres Vakola junction bridge will also have in situ play equipment, ergonomic seating spaces with pergolas. “We need security zones with cabins, railings, CCTV cameras because they are in the middle of the road,” she added.