Mumbai: BMC finally completes construction of retaining wall on Hughes road

Work of construction of the retaining wall at NS Patkar marg (Hughes road) that came crumbling down after a massive landslide last year on August 5 has been finally completed. The newly built retaining wall was inaugurated on Thursday afternoon by Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray.

Despite the delay in starting the work, BMC has claimed that they have achieved the feat of completing the construction of the all in the record six months.

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 was opened only June 12, 2021, by securing the side where the remaining work is being carried out, BMC officials said.

Along with it, works on concretization of Hughes Road starting from Kemps corner going up to Babulnath along with laying of stormwater drains was also done, informed the civic officials.

Civic officials said that the retaining wall was constructed in a span of just six months. Malabar Hill witnessed two landslides last year in a space of 50 days, resulting in a cave-in on NS Patkar Road and also damaging the Ridge road (also known as BG Kher Marg). Prashant Gaikwad, assistant municipal commissioner of D ward said,” Around ten-twelve days ago we started traffic movement on both sides when just five per cent of work was left. While repairs of NS Patkar Marg have been completed, repairs to Ridge road are to be carried out only post monsoon this year.”

The landslide near Kemps corner flyover on August 5, 2020, developed huge cracks on BG Kher Marg (Ridge Road) outside the iconic hanging garden and damaged the retaining wall of the garden too.

"It is very important to observe 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 works accordingly," Gaikwad added.

Officials said that an expert committee was appointed in consultation with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Mumbai) who designed the action plan last year.

“Near the slope of the hill on NS Patkar Marg, the works included concretisation of the road including strengthening of the affected area of Malabar Hill and erection of a five-meter high and 160-meter long protective wall and construction of stormwater drains under the road. The work started only on January 2021.

After which the work has been completed in less than six months. Not only this but the width of the road also has been increased from 24 meters is to 27 meters,” said a senior BMC official.

The inauguration event was attended by Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, BJP MLA from Malabar hill constituency Mangal Prabhat Lodha and senior BMC officials like P Velrasu - Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects).

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