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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

No end to traffic chaos: Revamp of Delisle bridge to take till 2022

mumbai Updated: Sep 22, 2019 23:54 IST
Mehul R Thakkar
Mehul R Thakkar

Don’t expect any respite from traffic snarls around Lower Parel, Dadar, Currey Road and Lalbaug, as reconstruction of the decades-old Delisle Bridge will take at least three more years, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The bridge is a major link connecting Lower Parel, Worli and Prabhadevi to the west to Currey Road, Lalbaug and Byculla to the east.

Due to closure of this bridge, Parel, Dadar TT Bridge and Mahalaxmi Railway station bridge are handling the traffic.

The Delisle Bridge was shut last year after IIT-Bombay, which studied the structure in the wake of Gokhale bridge collapse, said it was corroded.

According to BMC officials, while the demolition of the bridge has begun, reconstruction work will be taken up only in phases, jointly by the Western Railway (WR) and the BMC.

The WR will demolish and reconstruct the bridge in the railway portion above the tracks, and the BMC will complete the rest of the work.

“There are three entry points to the bridge. One goes towards Currey Road, one towards Worli and the last one further towards the north. Of these, demolition and construction of one approach towards Currey Road will get delayed. This is due to the WR’s demand not to start the work until construction on their portion is completed,” said an official from the bridges department of the BMC.

Last week, the BMC floated bids worth ₹94 crore to raze and reconstruct the three approaches.

“We have given 24 months to the contractor, excluding the monsoon, and so the work is expected to be completed only by 2022,” the official said.

Local residents and experts claimed the BMC and WR should not take four years to demolish and reconstruct a bridge.

Dattatray Gosavi, a city-based structural engineer, said, “The overall demolishing and reconstruction exercise can be completed in 18 months, but it is the process and decision-making by government bodies that result in delay in construction. The BMC floated bids only recently. So, technically, the construction period is only two years. Their internal process took two years, resulting in overall time of four years. The bidding process should have started last year.”

Meanwhile, Rohan Salian, a resident of Parel said, “There is no backup plan for smooth passage of vehicles, amid crumbling infrastructure. Already Parel, Lower Parel and its surroundings have seen haphazard development, but the government never felt the need to solve the mess earlier.”

First Published: Sep 22, 2019 23:54 IST

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