Gokhale Bridge ready but awaiting CM inauguration: Aaditya Thackeray | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Gokhale Bridge ready but awaiting CM inauguration: Aaditya Thackeray

Feb 25, 2024 07:48 AM IST

However, BMC commissioner and administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal said the stress test for the bridge was underway, and the fitness certificate was expected only on Monday. “We cannot open a flyover without the crucial stress test,” he said

MUMBAI: On Saturday, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray took to social media platform X and alleged that Gokhale Bridge, the key Andheri east-west connector, had been ready since Friday night but was awaiting inauguration at the hands of chief minister Eknath Shinde.

Mumbai, India - Feb. 24, 2024: A evening view of the Gokhale Bridge in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, February 24, 2024. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)
Mumbai, India - Feb. 24, 2024: A evening view of the Gokhale Bridge in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, February 24, 2024. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

However, BMC commissioner and administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal said the stress test for the bridge was underway, and the fitness certificate was expected only on Monday. “We cannot open a flyover without the crucial stress test,” he said. “The fitness certificate is likely to come on Monday, after which the bridge will be inaugurated.”

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“As per my sources, the much delayed Gokhale Bridge’s one portion is ready for use as of last night. However, the bmc has been told that the illegal cm has no time for inauguration this week, and the local ruling party politicians would also prefer it next week, closer to the elections. May be Monday, IF at all the cm has time,” said Thackeray on X, adding, “Therefore the bmc has been asked to not clean up the ready portion and let the debris and some paint job remain, so as to seem it’s not fully ready.” (sic)

He added: “The @mybmc can either convey to us, Mumbaikars, that the railways and BMC has failed to even complete this portion in time and the MC of the BMC lied to Mumbai about its opening date, or confirm that the illegal cm has not given time for the inauguration.” (sic)

“The point is, why does a small portion, that is embarrassingly delayed, need an inauguration?” Thackeray wrote on X.

Ameet Satam, the BJP MLA of Andheri West, hit back at Thackeray, saying the work on the bridge was very much going on. Sharing pictures on X, he said, “Some curing & mastic asphalt work is in process. If you (Aaditya) had shown the same concern for the Gokhale Bridge from 2018 to 2022, we would have been spared so much inconvenience!” Satam added that “Part of the bridge collapsed in 2018 but BMC gave a work order only in March 2020 and work started in Nov 2021! Why? You were in power in the state as well as BMC.”

HT on Saturday had reported that the bridge was likely to be inaugurated on Monday by Shinde. The report also said that although Gokhale Bridge would open in a few days, the connector from the Juhu side to the bridge, called Barfiwala flyover, would be out of bounds due to a gap between the two bridges. BMC officials said the gap was due to the increased height requirement by the railways and added that they were in the process of appointing VJTI as a consultant to resolve the issue.

Gokhale Bridge is a key connector between the east and west sides of Andheri and is one of the busiest routes in the suburb. A part of the bridge had collapsed in 2018, killing two people. The bridge was kept partially open after the collapse while the BMC worked on rebuilding it in phases. In September 2022, it was declared unsafe during a routine audit and was completely shut from November 7, 2022.

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