Construction of crucial Jogeshwari bridge waits for BMC, MMRDA to sort out differences
The civic body has blamed the delay on the MMRDA’s indecision over the alignment of Mumbai’s Dahisar-Andheri Metromumbai Updated: Oct 19, 2017 15:01 IST
The construction of yet another crucial bridge in Mumbai’s suburbs is now stuck, owing to a tussle between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
Work on the Jogeshwari rail overbridge (RoB) east wing, meant to connect Link Road to Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR), was supposed to start by August 15.
However, work has not yet started. The BMC blames the delay on the MMRDA’s indecision over the alignment of the Dahisar-Andheri Metro, which will share piers with the RoB.
“We wrote to the MMRDA in August, asking for a no-objection certificate for the Jogeshwari RoB so that we could float tenders the same month. The MMRDA did not respond. At a meeting held later, MMRDA officials said they wanted to realign the Metro line slightly and so could not give the RoB the go-ahead just yet,” said a civic official from the bridges department, who did not wish to be identified.
The Jogeshwari RoB currently connects Western Express Highway to JVLR junction on the eastern side.The proposed extension will take the bridge right up to Link Road in the west.
In July, the BMC and MMRDA decided to jointly construct the east wing of Jogeshwari RoB, with the MMRDA working on the stretch overlapping with the Metro, and the civic body handling the rest. This is a crucial extension to the current ROB. As of now, motorists who take the RoB touch down at JVLR junction and have to take a U-turn to use JVLR.
The proposed extension will help unclog JVLR junction, which is expected to get even more heavily congested in the future. A survey has indicated that the number of vehicles taking the current bridge to JVLR junction is expected to be 5,910 an hour by 2019; 6,690 by 2024, and 8,160 by 2034, according to a study.
The indefinite delay in the construction of the bridge has irked commuters and experts, who said government authorities must be held responsible for delays, especially when in comes to infrastructure projects.
“After the stampede at Elphinstone Road station, the government must not be allowed to get away with playing the blame game over delays in infrastructure projects as these are crucial and will ease the load off existing infrastructure,” said Ashok Datar, transport activist.
He refuted the BMC’s claims about the number of commuters who will use the RoB. “When the BMC takes into account hourly traffic, it does not consider the number of commuters who travel by bus or auto-rickshaw. These will increase the number of commuters per hour manifold,” he added.
UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, was unavailable for comment.
First Published: Oct 19, 2017 15:00 IST