Mumbai: After Year-Long Delay In Bandra Skywalk, BMC Still Looking For Reasons

Mumbai: After Year-Long Delay In Bandra Skywalk, BMC Still Looking For Reasons

HC raps BMC for failing to reconstruct Bandra east skywalk and repair a footpath even after a year of assurance; terms not abiding by statement as 'contempt of court'

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 10:59 PM IST
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Mumbai: After Year-Long Delay In Bandra Skywalk, BMC Still Looking For Reasons | FPJ

The Bombay High Court has rapped the BMC for failing to reconstruct a skywalk and footpath in Bandra East despite giving assurances last year. The court noted that such deviation from the statement “clearly amounts to committing contempt” of court. The court also termed the BMC affidavit a “farce” and said that it is the civic body’s responsibility to provide “clean and walkable footpaths”. 

The court was dealing with a concern raised by advocate KPP Nair over the non-availability of a foot over bridge (FOB) connecting Bandra East railway station towards the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) office, leading to Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).

Following Nair’s petition, the BMC had assured the court last year that it will issue the tender and the work will be completed within 15 months, including the monsoon period, once the contractor was foreclosed. It had also assured that since the existing road is heavily crowded, “the reconstruction of the skywalk will be carried out using new technology”. The BMC had also asked Nair to make a representation regarding repair/ reconstruction of the footpath from Bandra east station to HDIL building near the Western Expressway, which he made within two days. Following this, Nair’s petition was disposed of on April 24, 2023. 

With no progress, Nair once again approached the HC. During the hearing on Wednesday, the bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arf Doctor said that any authority, including the municipal corporation, is bound by the statements in the court of law.

The judges were irked with the corporation since no decision had been taken on the representation even a year. “Who is to be summoned? If you can’t abide by your statement given to the court, which appreciated it, and the situation is as it is. How can such things be accepted?” asked the Chief Justice. 

When the BMC advocate sought one week’s time as a last chance, the Chief Justice quipped, “You will come up with the skywalk in one week?” 

Taking note of the photographs submitted by Nair, the court said, “Photographs tendered today by the petitioner depict the pathetic condition of pavement which cannot be used by any human being in a civilised society. The responsibility, needless to say, is that of BMC to provide a clean and walkable footpath.”

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