Mumbai: Barfiwala Flyover & Gokhale Bridge Height Mismatch Causes Traffic Chaos For Andheri Commuters

Mumbai: Barfiwala Flyover & Gokhale Bridge Height Mismatch Causes Traffic Chaos For Andheri Commuters

The local residents have expressed anger at the blatant oversight in the planning and execution of the reconstruction of Gokhale Bridge and C.D. Barfiwala 'Y' Bridge.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 02:05 AM IST
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Even after the partial reopening of the Gopal Krishna Gokhale Bridge in Andheri, the local commuters will still have to face inconvenience for more than a year. The BMC has consulted experts to find a way to align the Barfiwala flyover with the Gokhale Bridge, which has a height difference of two metres. However, the local residents have expressed anger at the blatant oversight in the planning and execution of the reconstruction of Gokhale Bridge and C.D. Barfiwala 'Y' Bridge. 

Flawed Planning Hinders Andheri Commuters Despite Gokhale Bridge Reopening

Though the reopening of the two lanes of the crucial east-west connector will give relief to commuters in Andheri. The incomplete work on the alignment of the Barfiwala Bridge (connecting Juhu) will congest the already burdened Swami Vivekanand (SV) road.

Photo from the partial inauguration of Gokhale Bridge by Mangal Prabhat Lodha.

Photo from the partial inauguration of Gokhale Bridge by Mangal Prabhat Lodha. |

Godfrey Pimenta, founder of WatchDog Foundation said, "The recent revelation of a significant level difference between these two critical flyovers reflects a severe lapse in the planning process and raises serious questions about the competence of the officials of the Bridge Department. How could such a fundamental flaw escape notice until the eleventh hour, when the bridge was on the verge of being reopened? The approval of girder placement drawings without addressing this crucial aspect is a clear example of inadequate and gross oversight and lack of attention to detail." 

Pimenta's letter to CM

Pimenta, in his letter to the chief minister, requested to take swift and decisive action to rectify this situation, ensuring that the appointed consultants expedite their assessments and recommendations. Dhaval Shah, founder of Andheri Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizens Association said, "The former deputy municipal commissioner seemed to be well aware of the height difference from day one. But the tender for this work was not issued earlier to save an additional 5% of the cost. So now, even if Gokhale Bridge opens, the SV road will be congested, which otherwise would have had relief in traffic due to Barfiwala Bridge. Some responsibility needs to be fixed for these lapses.” 

As per the civic sources, the Barfiwala bridge was built by Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and then handed over to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). "The initial drawings of Gokhale bridge had no issue. But the gap between the two flyovers increased after we had to increase the height of the bridge as informed by the railways. Also, the plan to connect the bridges was not approved by the consultant approving the designs and the drawings of the Barfiwala flyover were also not available. We have consulted experts who will guide us on the alignment of the Barfiwala flyover," said a senior civic official.

What the Municipal Commissioner has to say

Municipal commissioner and Administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal said, "The union ministry is taking upgradation of railway lines all over India and as per their latest guidelines any new Railway Over Bridge should be created at an additional height of two meters. The Barfiwalla Flyover was constructed before Gokhale Bridge therefore, there is a height mismatch. The two bridges will be merged by year end and no demolition work will be carried out for this," assured Chahal. 

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