Flyovers in limbo expose faulty planning | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Flyovers in limbo expose faulty planning

By, Anamika Gharat,
Mar 20, 2024 06:50 AM IST

HT looks at four important projects that were touted as solutions to traffic and congestion woes but have remained in limbo for years

Mumbai: The difference in height between the Gokhale bridge and the Barfiwala flyover in Andheri has been a topic of conversation for over a month, exposing serious gaps in the planning and implementation of road and infrastructure projects in the city. HT looks at four important projects that were touted as solutions to traffic and congestion woes but have remained in limbo for years. Hundreds of crores have been spent on constructing these bridges, and multiple deadlines for their completion have lapsed, yet there is no clarity from authorities about when they might be completed and operationalised.

Flyovers in limbo expose faulty planning
Flyovers in limbo expose faulty planning

Two out of four projects under review are beset with alignment issues. These include the Diva East-West flyover being built by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and Central Railways (CR); and the connector between the Thakurli East-West flyover and the 90-feet road in Thakurli East, being built by Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and CR.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

The other two projects, being built by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), have no clear deadline in sight. These include the Vikhroli East-West flyover and a connector between the Mrinaltai Gore flyover and the Oshiwara Link Road.

HT spoke to multiple citizens who said ongoing construction work for these projects had increased congestion and travel time while wasting precious public money. Officials, on the other hand, passed the blame on to other departments or chose not to speak.

1: Vikhroli Flyover

An elevated road over the railway tracks connecting Vikhroli East with Vikhroli West.

Implementing agency: BMC

Date of commencement: 2018

Original deadline: October 2020

Status: When BMC commissioner IS Chahal presented the budget estimate in February 2023, he said 50% work on the flyover was complete and it would be ready by May 2023. More than a year on, only 60% work is complete, and BMC has not specified any deadline.

Citizen Speak: Milind Parab, Vikhroli

“At present, we have to go via Kanjurmarg or Ghatkopar if we want to go from Vikhroli East to West or vice versa. A lot of fuel will be saved if the flyover is opened, but I have been hearing about it for 10 years now! First, BMC took years to start construction work, and now, things are moving at a snail’s pace. Even our current MP had promised that the flyover would be ready by 2023, but it didn’t happen.”

Official speak: BMC official

“We have the piers ready and are waiting for the railways to launch the girders. Once that is done, we can finish all the work and open bridge within 4-5 months.” The official did not say when the girders are expected to be launched.

2: Extension of Mrunaltai Gore flyover

Connector between Mrunaltai Gore flyover, which connects Goregaon East with Goregaon West, and Oshiwara Link Road

Implementing agency: BMC

Date: Announced in 2018, work started in 2019

Status: When BMC commissioner IS Chahal presented the budget estimate in February 2023, he said 45% work on the flyover was complete and it would be ready by December 2023. More than a year on, work is incomplete, and BMC has not specified any deadline.

Citizen Speak: Dhaval Shah, Goregaon

“Work on the connector has been proceeding at snail’s pace and it does not look like it will be completed anytime soon. Instead of using precast structures, they are casting bridge parts on site, which is primitive. Plus, only a few people are seen working every day.”

Official speak: HT reached out to Vivek Kalyankar, chief engineer, bridges, BMC, but he did not respond.

3: Extension of Thakurli bridge

Connector between Thakurli East-West flyover and 90-feet road in Thakurli East; planned 24 years ago

Implementing agency: KDMC, Central Railways

Original deadline: 2018 (coinciding with Thakurli East-West bridge)

Status: Work on the connector was abandoned over problems in rehabilitating around 150 tenements along its alignment. Now, the railways have built an escalator a few feet away that aligns with the abandoned connector; the escalator will have to be relocated if the connecter is extended till the 90-feet road.

Citizen Speak: Mayur Nirmal, Dombivli

“Authorities gave us several commitments about connecting Dombivli with a direct 90-feet road. But all they did was waste public money and increase congestion on the road. They could have rehabilitated the families before starting work but did not do so. Now, the railways have built an escalator at the end of the incomplete bridge. Action should be taken against the political leader, civil engineer and KDMC authorities who have approved the plan of the bridge and gave crores to the contractor.

Official speak: KDMC official

KDMC can rehabilitate the 150 tenement owners if details are provided and a verified list is available.

4: Diva East-West flyover

An elevated road over the railway tracks connecting Diva East with Diva West, bringing relief to nearly five lakh motorists.

Implementing Agency: TMC, Central Railways

Date of commencement: 2017

Original deadline: 18 months from commencement

Status: The eastern end of the flyover is under construction but work on the western end has been suspended owing to alignment issues, said sources. Accidents are common in the area and congestion has increased owing to construction work.

Citizen Voice: Bharat Kambli, Diva

“TMC is still searching for a way to land the bridge on the western side. It failed in its plan twice, leaving people with no option but to use the railway crossing to travel from east to west. The population has increased, so we have to wait for half an hour or more just to cross the tracks. Trains also get delayed because of this.”

Official speak: CR official

“After TMC completes work on the rail overbridge, we will close down the railway crossing. This will not only reduce the number of accidents but will also increase punctuality of trains.”

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Stay updated with all the Breaking News and Latest News from Mumbai. Click here for comprehensive coverage of top Cities including, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and more across India. Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On