Mumbai: Beautification of flyovers, bridges hits a roadblock

Mumbai: The beautification plan of spaces under the flyovers and bridges at Mumbai’s important entry points has hit a roadblock. Notably, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) maintains 27 flyovers on the Western, Eastern and Sion Panvel highways, along with Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) and in Airoli.

Shashikant Sonatakke, the MSRDC chief engineer, confirmed that the plan has been postponed due to ongoing Metro works. “The areas below most of the flyovers and bridges have been used to store construction materials for the Metro.

It is a hindrance to our beautification plan,” said Sonatakke. There are flyovers in Dahisar and Goregaon under which construction material for the metro has been stored.

Apart from the Metro, the beautification plan has also been hampered for want of space for advertisements by the companies. According to the MSRDC, a tender was floated, inviting interested companies to undertake the project against advertisement rights.

However, bidders showed little interest, as it emphasised more on green space and minimum space for ads.

Commenting on the cold response, another official said the interested companies believe compared to the project cost, the space provided for ads is less.

The official added, “Since the flyovers are on Western, Eastern and Sion Panvel highways, and witness a lot of traffic movement, the companies pay a hefty sum for ad space.”

Moreover, the MSRDC had attached stringent conditions, including the company shall conserve, maintain and guard these flyovers at its own expenses; it will have to complete landscaping and beautification at all the places made available and free from encumbrance within six months from the date of start of the contract.

If it fails, a monthly fine of Rs1.50 lakh shall be levied. Besides, the bidding company was responsible to visit and examine the flyovers and prepare a report about the factors affecting the execution of the work and sign a declaration to the authority.

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