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The rash of skywalks

Monday, 16 November 2009 - 12:03am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

You look up at the sky and all you will soon see is a series of criss-crossed walkways, high up in the sky, going twinkle twinkle.

Has anyone considered how well-named a ‘skywalk’ is, especially the Mumbai version? You look up at the sky and all you will soon see is a series of criss-crossed walkways, high up in the sky, going twinkle twinkle.

The flagship skywalk (I hear people play carrom on it, but I could be wrong) to the Bandra-Kurla Complex (known in BPO trendy as BKC) will soon be dwarfed by these gigantic skywalks, some of which are three and four storeys tall. Which beats my using them because if there is no lift, no way I’m climbing up three floors to cross a road. I know I should, but, well...

Of course, the skywalk department of the government —- I don’t know the official name —- has made it a point not to coordinate with any other agencies that build other mammoth projects in Mumbai. This is a strategic decision to ensure that the city has as many wonderful new features as possible and moves upwards.

For instance, I hear that one of our flyovers on the Western Express Highway will have a skywalk over it, a metro rail over that, and then another railway line built by the railways (why should they be left out?) over that. By which time we won’t need Chandrayan III because Isro can just shift its astronauts to Mumbai who can then walk to the moon.
The other day, I went down E Moses Road towards Mahalaxmi station and found that they were building a skywalk there. I would venture to suggest that the reason for the constant traffic jams from E Moses Road across the bridge towards Haji Ali is the greater number of cars at the crossroads and the long time spent at the signal, not because of people walking to the station. The pavement on both sides of E Moses Road is pretty sufficient. The skywalk might be more useful at Jacob Circle.

The good thing about this pointless skywalk is that it might put paid to the idea of a flyover through the racecourse —- which belongs to another government department, of course —- because it would then have to go over or under the skywalk... here we go again. And maybe the skywalk is a good idea for people who want to watch the races from a vantage point?

My current favourite remains the one along SV Road for Bandra station. Every day I see it has progressed in tiny amounts and so far just runs along the median. There is no sign that you ever will cross the road with it, because no such connection has been built. There are several ladders placed on the pillars and, according to a cabbie, the ladders are for senior citizens to use so they can have their morning walk along it.

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