10-storey-high ‘skyscraper bridge’ to connect Worli to Sewri in Mumbai by 2022
Zipping past Worli to Sewri may be possible, as the authorities have started work on an elevated connector corridor – a skyscraper bridge – between the two spots. One of the most ambitious projects, scores of commercial and residential buildings may have to be demolished for it, a move that may face opposition from residents.
The 4.5-km-long bridge, which aims to connect the Bandra-Worli sea link to the Mumbai trans-harbour line at Sewri, will run at a height of 32m (the height of a 10-storey building), according to Sanjay Khandare, additional metropolitan commissioner of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). This is the first bridge in Mumbai to be built at such a height, and will go above the existing flyovers and Monorail.
The authorities aim to complete it by mid-2022, at an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore. Five agencies – MMRDA, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), and Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) – will be involved in planning and execution of its construction.
As it is set to run through densely populated areas of Worli, Elphinstone Road, Parel and Sewri, residential and commercial buildings will make way for it and residents will have to be rehabilitated. The civic body has now initiated the process by issuing notices to the first lot of 20 residential buildings in Elphinstone Road, seeking suggestions and objections from the residents.
The project was planned in 2011, but did not make any headway then. It has now been taken up with the MMRDA (which will construct the corridor) writing to BMC (the planning authority) regarding widening of city’s roads through which the corridor will run, and rehabilitation of project-affected persons.
Khandare said, “We have taken up the project again and conducted several meetings with related authorities, who will help in execution. We aim to complete the construction at the same time as MTHL.”
According to the plan, this entirely elevated corridor will begin at Sewri interchange on MTHL along the Acharya Donde Road at Parel, Jagannath Bhatankar Road at Elphinstone, Drainage Channel Road and Narayan Hardikar Road at Prabhadevi, turning towards Century Bhavan, and will land near Sacred Heart Convent School at Worli. The corridor will be double-decker – one between Senapati Bapat Road and BA Ambedkar Road – as it will cross two flyovers and Elphinstone ROB. The existing road overbridge above the railway lines at Elphinstone Road is proposed to be demolished and rebuilt as part of the corridor.
The project is likely to face opposition from residents, as it will displace most of Kamgar Nagar slums, several BDD chawls in Worli, and buildings dotting either side of Jagannath Bhatankar Road and Acharya Donde Road. A rehabilitation plan for Kamgar Nagar slums is underway at the hands of SRA, which will coordinate with MMRDA for rehabilitation. Similarly, Mhada will rehabilitate residents of affected BDD chawls.
In June, BMC sent notices to several buildings lining Jagannath Bhatankar Road, which will be project affected, inviting suggestions and objections to the project. A hearing of these suggestions will be conducted by BMC shortly.
A civic official said, “MMRDA wrote to us with a plan of the corridor that requires roads to be widened to different widths. At some spots, MMRDA wants to extend the width of the road to be 130m, upto 160m at some locations.” The width of the elevated connector corridor is about 17.20m.
Pankaj Joshi, director of UDRI, said, “East-west connectivity is the need of the hour. We have to weigh perks for infrastructure development with quality of life . Displacing thousands of residents has its problems. The state needs to come up with a holistic solution, such as beginning the bridge from an arterial road such as the Ambedkar road in Dadar, minimising displacement.”