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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Audit of skywalksto bridge safety gap

This development comes a week after the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) shut down the Bandra skywalk, citing safety concerns after three women were injured when panels fell off the skywalk.

mumbai Updated: Jun 26, 2019 05:41 IST
Mehul R Thakkar
Mehul R Thakkar
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
BMC has shut down the Charni Rd station FoB toward Saifee Hospital end, at Charni Rd, in Mumbai
BMC has shut down the Charni Rd station FoB toward Saifee Hospital end, at Charni Rd, in Mumbai(Bhushan Koyande/ HTPhotos)
         

After bridges and foot overbridges (FOBs), it is now time for skywalks to be audited. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will conduct a safety audit of the 24 skywalks in the city. Experts from the Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) will study the skywalks to ensure they are structurally fit for use.

This development comes a week after the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) shut down the Bandra skywalk, citing safety concerns after three women were injured when panels fell off the skywalk.

A BMC official said on condition of anonymity, “We have written to VJTI and after we receive their concurrence and the cost estimations for the audit, the work will be assigned by taking permissions from civic body chief Praveen Pardeshi.”

According to BMC officials, there are around 24 skywalks in the western, eastern suburbs and south Mumbai. Approximately 56 skywalks were planned for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), but only 39 were constructed by the MMRDA between 2008 and 2012.

Of the 39, around 24 are in Mumbai and maintained by the BMC. The remainder are in Thane, Vasai, Virar, Ulhasnagar, Mira Road, Bhayander and other neighbouring areas.

“The audit is considered necessary as skywalks are similar to bridges and in a couple of instances, structural defects have been identified. Hence, we feel it will be safe to conduct structural audits,” said the BMC official.

Last year, the BMC had shut down the skywalk in Dahisar (West) because it was deemed unsafe owing to structural defects. In March this year, after seven were killed in the collapse of the Himalaya FOB near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), the commissioner of MMRDA had written to the BMC, suggesting a structural audit of skywalks be undertaken. The BMC had ordered a re-audit of all 296 FOBs and road over bridges (ROBs) in Mumbai after the collapse of the Himalaya FOB.

On March 25, 2019, MMRDA commissioner RA Rajeev had written to the BMC, “Considering the recent incidents of the failure of old foot over bridge structures in Mumbai, it would be appropriate to take a review of these skywalks by conducting site inspections, maintenance and structural audit etc.”.

First Published: Jun 26, 2019 05:41 IST

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