Malabar Hill landslide: 90% work on retaining wall completed
BL Soni

Over nine months after a massive landslide near Kemps Corner led to the collapse of a retaining wall on a hill slope outside Hanging Garden, NS Patkar Marg (Peddar Road) is expected to be fully opened to vehicular movement by June 10. BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials, on Tuesday, said that nearly 90 per cent of repair and construction of the retaining wall is completed.

As soon as the part of the road where the retaining wall collapsed was secured and barricaded, the south-bound arm of NS Patkar Marg opened for traffic in September 2020, but with diversions. The other arm will be opened only once the work is fully completed.

"Almost 90 per cent work of the retaining wall is completed and the remaining 10 per cent will be completed by June 5 we have estimated. As soon as that is completed, we will open the other side of the N S Patkar mark for the traffic," said P Velrasu, additional municipal commissioner (Projects)

The landslide near Kemps corner flyover on August 5, 2020 developed huge cracks on BG Kher Marg (Ridge Road) outside the iconic Hanging Garden. The retaining wall of the garden collapsed and damaged N S Patkar Marg below.

However, it took two months for the Mumbai civic body to float the tender for the repair work. After much delay, the tender was floated on October 12, 2020, 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.

"We had estimated the work to be completed by May 2021 however there were certain technical issues. However, we have still not lost much time and the work will be completed by June first week. While the N S Patkar Marg will be opened for traffic by June 10 we have estimated. Almost 90 per cent work of retaining wall and stabilisation of sloped is over," said Prashant Gaikwad, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of D ward (Malabar hill, Breach Candy, Nepeansea road).

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. As far as the BG Kher Marg is concerned, it will only start post-monsoon. "We will be observing what happens on the hill slope during monsoon this year. Only after observing the effects of heavy rains on the slope will we be able to start with the repair work of B G Kher road accordingly," added Gaikwad.

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