Kopri skywalk to be shifted to Kharegaon
Ten years after the Kopri skywalk was opened to the public, it will be dismantled and shifted to a new location to pave way for the second phase of the Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme (Satis).
The skywalk will be refitted at Kharegaon,next to the under-construction rail overbridge (RoB) at Kalwa, so that pedestrians can access it easily.
“Satis 2, to be built in Thane (East), comprises a 6.5-m deck over 8,900sqm, which will connect to a 2.23-km elevated road. Some parts of the skywalk are obstructing the construction of this road,” said an official from Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).
“We will have to remove for construction of Satis 2. We are planning to construct the skywalk beside the Kharegaon RoB instead. The skywalk will be around 800 to 900 metres in length,” he added.
The Kopri skywalk was constructed by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in 2009 at a cost of ₹32 crore. It was handed over to the TMC for maintenance.
The skywalk and ramp will be fitted beside the RoB and pedestrians can use the skywalk to cross the tracks, while motorists can use the RoB.
“We already have the ready skywalk so it will save a lot of money since we only have to dismantle it and then install it at Kharegaon. We will only have to spend on shifting the skywalk and the ramp,” the official added.
Local corporators in Kopri said the skywalk was not needed in the area in the first place.
“We had opposed the skywalk when the authorities were constructing it. There was no need for the skywalk on the route,” said BJP city president Sandeep Lele, in the general body meeting last week.
“It is already a congested area; the skywalk led to more congestion. At present, only couples and junkies use the skywalk, making it an absolute waste of money,” he added.
Lele claimed that this is absolute lack of planning on the part of the TMC.
The residents of Kharegaon, which is 8km from Kopri, are happy to get a skywalk. Many said it would be more useful in the area, where people have been risking lives to cross to the other side.
Sachin Kamble, 38, resident of Kharegaon, said, “It will be easy to cross the east and west side of Kalwa on a skywalk rather than the RoB. It will ensure safety of commuters, especially women, children and senior citizens, who do not have to dodge speeding vehicles on the RoB.”
The Kharegaon RoB was constructed by the Railways and the TMC.
The Railways had completed the work of laying the girder over the tracks a year ago, and the corporation started the work in January 2018.
The RoB was proposed so that the railway gate at Kharegaon could be shut.
Residents of Kalwa had to cross the gate to reach the railway station, leading to accidents.
The work on the RoB is stuck over a land acquisition issue.
A part of the overbridge is constructed on land belonging to the closed Mafatlal Mills. The matter is still in court.