The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will initiate the reconstruction of the Himalaya Bridge at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus from January 2021 onwards, nearly 20 months after it had collapsed in March 2019.
The civic body has already finalised the design of the bridge and the tender for the construction of the same has already been issued. The Bridges Department of the civic body had prepared three plans for the new model of the bridge and had submitted them to the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC).
Since the proposed construction site falls at the heritage precinct, adjoining the Anjuman-I-Islam university, Times of India Building and CSMT - which are heritage structures, the civic body needed a 'NOC' from the MHCC before initiating the construction work.
In February 2020, BMC had approached the MHCC panel and submitted the designs of the bridge, seeking approval for its reconstruction. MHCC, in its meeting, scrutinized the plan, checked all heritage aspects and gave a nod to the model, which has an open sky plan.
Officials stated that the construction work was supposed to start from April this year and the bridge was expected to be completed by December 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the project got postponed. “We are planning to start the construction by mid-January and the estimated cost would be between Rs 6.40 crore to Rs 7 crore," a senior official from the bridges department said.
According to the Bridges Department official, the new bridge will be higher than the previous one. The Himalaya bridge was cut by six to eight feet due to welding. The new bridge will be constructed by installing steel plate girders. BMC plans to complete the new bridge by the end of 2021.
"The new bridge will be made of steel and will be 30-feet long and nine metres wide. Our main aim is to make sure the foundation is strong," the official stated.
The new bridge could also have an escalator as building a concrete staircase may affect the heritage structures. However, the official didn't confirm it, stating such decisions are taken at the final stage of the project.
The Himalaya footbridge had collapsed in March 2019, claiming six lives and injuring 30 more. Since the mishap, the bridge was shut and the civic body ordered an audit of all the bridges across Mumbai. More than 25,000 commuters would use the bridge daily to reach CSMT from Times of India over the DN Road. Now that bridge is not there, Mumbaikars are using a subway nearly 200 metres away from the collapse spot.