The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been working on high number of infrastructure projects like never before just ahead of the civic polls slated to take place this year between March and April.
While there are several bridges – most of which were made during British time and are now dilapidated — whose reconstruction are impending, the BMC has been proposing to build new ones this year.
However, the question here arises is that — will the impending works on bridges will be completed in the given time frame? Or are they just “Jumlas” ahead of the polls?
As per recent accounts, the BMC increased the budgetary provision for the construction and maintenance of bridges in Mumbai from INR 961.60 crores to INR 1576.66 crores.
Meanwhile, according to data revealed by the civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal during the budget session, which took place on February 4, the work of demolition and reconstruction of 21 bridges, major repairs of 47 bridges and minor repairs of 144 bridges are in progress.
Last year, apart from the budget allocation, the civic body had made a provision of additional funds of INR 157.36 crores for the bridges department. This year, too, a provision for INR 615.06 crores has been made for the bridges department in the budget.
As several under-construction bridges are moving at a snail’s pace. The work in some projects has not progressed at all from last year.
In February, the civic body announced the construction of three new bridges. This includes flyovers from Juhu-Versova Road up to CD Barfiwala at JVPD junction, Mithi Chowky Junction on Malad Link Road, and a third one linking Fishermen’s Colony at Senapati Bapat Marg to Western Express Highway.
Moreover, it has also come to light that ahead of BMC polls, Shiv Sena-led BMC is looking to start work on these bridges. The civic body will spend INR 1,775 crores on the project.
In September 2021, the civic body planned to rebuild 12 British-era bridges along in collaboration with the Maharashtra Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation (MRIDC) with the Tilak bridge at Dadar being the first one.
Other bridges include Reay Road bridge, Ghatkopar bridge, Matunga bridge, Chinchapokali bridge and Mahalaxmi bridge. However, work on Hancock bridge has been crawling.
Two Road Over Bridges (RoBs) in Reay Road in Byculla and Tilak Road in Dadar will be demolished and new cable-stayed three-lane bridges will be constructed.
Though the Hancock bridge between Sandhurst Road and Byculla railway station is important for east-west connectivity, the approach road for the bridge is still incomplete. The work was also delayed due to opposition from structures within the project area.
In addition, all the bridges and flyovers in Mumbai will undergo a makeover with theme-based paintings, murals, and 3-D images on their girders and slabs parapet walls, and anti-crash barriers.
Last year, BMC proclaimed the repair work of a total of 28 bridges in Mumbai.
Based on accounts, 14 more bridges were decided to be repaired since the audit found them to be vulnerable on October 29, 2021. From the earlier 14, six are slated for major repairs and eight are for reconstruction after demolition.
Read More: BMC audits 296 out of 314 bridges in Mumbai