Mumbai: In a shocking revelation made by a civic official, the repair work of a full-fledged bridge has been delayed for three months by the traffic police department just to appease the plush societies in one area of South Mumbai.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) bridges department has revealed that the traffic police have delayed the permissions for three months for repairing the Priyadarshini flyover at Nepean Sea Road. The civic body’s standing committee meeting had passed a proposal in the month of August to repair the flyover after which the work was stalled due to lack of traffic permissions.

S. Kori, Chief Engineer of Bridges Department, exclusively told the Free Press Journal, “Our officials are regularly visiting the traffic police department for getting the required permissions for the repairing of the Priyadarshini flyover. The flyover needs new expansion joints and minor resurfacing as it has outlived its guarantee period. The traffic department easily gives permissions for various roads and bridges but Nepean Sea Road being a posh area, the permissions have been delayed.” The bridge, which is 208-meter-long, connects places like Mount Pleasant Road, Nepean Sea Road, Petit Hall, Manav Mandir Road and Walkeshwar Road. The cement concrete bridge built by the state public works department (PWD) about 40-45 years ago witnesses heavy traffic on a daily basis.

Trashing the claims of delaying permissions, Milind Bharambe, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said, “The officials have hardly ever visited us for the permissions. We have given time slots to the civic body on days when there is less traffic congestion on roads. Also, permission for a flyover like Priyadarshini that deals with daily traffic congestion have to be given with proper planning in order to avoid causing inconvenience to the people. The bridges department wanted 15 days for carrying out the repair work which was not feasible for us as it would have resulted in traffic issues.”

A senior civic official said, “Taxpayers blame the civic body for delays in implementation of projects but there are many hurdles to be tackled for completing a project.”

BMC had appointed M/s Pentacle Consultants as technical consultants to suggest measures for repairing the bridge. The BMC had received three bids for the repair work, of which M/s Ten Constructions (India) bagged the contract for Rs 3.78 crore.

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