The controversial skywalk project may once again be revived in Mumbai. If metropolitan commissioner UPS Madan is to be believed, then he will do justice to the pedestrians.
While interacting with the media after taking charge of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Madan said, “There is need for adequate infrastructure even for pedestrians, be it in the form of footpaths, skywalks or smart traffic signals.” There is enough focus already to create infrastructure for vehicular traffic, he added.
Former MMRDA chief Ratnakar Gaikwad had introduced the skywalk project, but it drew a lot of flak, which led to the project being left midway.
After Rahul Asthana took charge in March 2011, he brought the project to a halt to focus on a handful of infrastructure projects that would largely benefit Mumbaikars.
But with the change of guard, Madan wants to make Mumbai pedestrian-friendly. “There is need to study it. There were concern areas in some sectors about the project, we need to go through those to address the issues.”
Asthana, before relinquishing the seat, had said, “The project should have been in a phased manner; also, no feasibility studies were carried out. The same Rs700 crore could have been used elsewhere for some other project.”
An MMRDA official said the skywalk project was largely a contractor-driven project.
Madan cautioned that pedestrian-friendly projects won’t be taken up randomly and the skywalk project will be studied carefully before a decision is taken to go ahead with it.
While pavements can be widened wherever needed, more pedestrian-friendly traffic signals that dot city’s busy junctions may also come up.
Finally, stuck SCLR gets railway green light
Finally, the decks have been cleared to launch girders on Central Railway lines to complete the Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR). The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) on Monday gave approval for it. DNA on Monday had reported how the project is awaiting clearance from CRS.
“A presentation was made to the CRS on Monday about launching girders over railway tracks at Kurla-Tilak Nagar. He has given his nod,” said SVR Srinivas, additional commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.
In all, 42 girders will be launched over a period of just one-and-a-half months.
Construction has begun to erect a pier in between tracks so that 14 girders can be launched on this crucial project over the main line. The rest 28 will come over the other tracks or on the railway yard.
“By April-end, the pier on the railway line should be ready for launching girders with the help of a winch trolley,” said Srinivas. The project deadline is October 31.