Landslide at Kemps Corner flyover
Landslide at Kemps Corner flyover
BL Soni

Slow development in the repair of NS Patkar Road (Hughes Road) that got damaged after a massive landslide in August has left the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) surrounded by criticism from all corners. It has been more than three months since the road was damaged and threw the traffic in South Mumbai out of gear.

It took two month for the Mumbai civic body to float the tender for the repair work. After much delay, the tender was floated on October 12, following which a contractor was appointed for the work. The estimated cost of the project, along with miscellaneous costs including water, sewerage and supervision charges, is Rs 62.85 crore.

After the landslide, BMC had appointed a committee headed by IIT Bombay Professor DN Singh to suggest a solution to prevent further landslides at Malabar Hill.

The civic body had earlier said that the tender for repairing the road would be floated on October 5. However, the civic body also states that there has been no delay in floating the tender.

Assistant Municipal Commissioner (D ward) Prashant Gaikwad told the Free Press Journal that there has been no delay. “The report was submitted by IIT. There was one week for tender document preparation. Once the documentation was complete, we floated the tender. It was a 15 days short tender. Dev Engineers Private Limited has been appointed," said Gaikwad.

He added, "The wall that was damaged in the landslide has to be reconstructed in a scientific way, since it holds a hill with homes and a reservoir. Only after receiving the study from IIT, we floated the tender and invited bids. The contractor has been finalised. On Wednesday, there was a meeting to discuss how to go about the work. The repair work should start in the next four to five days."

The road, which links Opera House to Kemps Corner and connects Peddar Road to the north, was shut for over a month after the August 5 landslide. It is currently open for the south-bound traffic in the mornings and the north-bound traffic in the evenings, leading to massive congestion in all the other roads in the area.

However, more than three months since the August 5 landslide, the BMC hasn’t begun work to prevent more landslides at Malabar Hill, nor has the road repair work begun.

Work at Malabar Hill was to be in two parts. One was the road repair work at NS Patkar Marg and the larger slope stabilisation work of Malabar Hill was to be done after a detailed study.

“The work is not a very easy one. However, now that the repair work will begin in the next four to five days, we are expecting it to be completed by May 2021. Since the area is loose and land mass is still mobile, adequate structural design that could withstand seismic disturbances would be planned.” Gaikwad said.

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