Want to shed the extra pounds, but have no time to hit the gym or go for a jog? If yes, then the easiest solution for you is a visit, or two, to the Bandra skywalk.
The dearth of open spaces and good roads in Bandra (East) has forced residents to put the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) Rs13-crore project to an alternative use. Apart from helping the thousand of pedestrians, the skywalk is now serving as a very “expensive treadmill” for fitness freaks.
Every morning, residents from Kalanagar, Khernagar, Behramnagar and other areas come for a peaceful morning walk on the 1.3-km stretch. “It is easier to jog here because I don’t have to worry about the traffic or potholes. It’s also very peaceful,” said Akhsay Patil, a resident of Kalanagar, who daily comes to the skywalk to exercise.
Around a hundred odd morning walkers prefer the walkway just to evade vehicular traffic. “I earlier used to jog on the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) Road. But now the road has been dug up and there are open manholes. Also, it is difficult to jog on the road with vehicles zipping around,” said Mohan Prabhu, resident of BKC.
Behramnagar resident Lokesh Salian said, “We have no open spaces in our area and we used to take walk in our building complex. But the skywalk is more convenient. Also, we won’t miss our daily exercise during monsoon thanks to the roof.”
With security guards manning the walkway at all times, the skywalk is a safe haven for women. “We can walk without any worries of being chased by dogs or eve-teased. Pedestrians don’t make use of the skywalk early in the morning, so it’s free from the usual crowd,” said Revathi Parmeshwaran from Kalanagar.
What has the morning walkers concerned is MMRDA’s plan to start shopping plazas for hawkers. “It will hamper our movement and defeat the purpose of having an open walkway,” said Janardhan Rane, a resident of Khernagar.