Mumbai: ‘BMC’s cycle of woes’; Squatters, missing links delay Tansa cycle track

Mumbai: The BMC had started work on the ambitious Rs 450 crore project of the cycle track along the Tansa Pipeline two years back however currently the work seems to have come to a grinding halt. The track was supposed to be completed by December 2018.A bicycle track is being built along with the Tansa water pipeline. The work which was supposed to finish in three phases. However, only 30 percent of the first phase of this work has been completed till date.Facing encroachment issues and lack of access in many parts has led to the BMC’s pet project ‘Tansa cycling track’ move at a snail pace. The 36 km long cycling track along the Tansa Pipeline stretches from Mulund to Wadala. The civic body is struggling to remove encroachments enroute the project. Currently, work on the second phase is also ongoing. The third and final phase will include beautification around the trackThe Tansa mainline provides water to the city however large encroachments on both sides of the pipeline had created a risk. The Bombay High Court had ordered BMC to remove the encroachments from both sides of the water pipeline as it could be a threat.Accordingly, the BMC decided to remove the unauthorized encroachments of up to 10 metres near the waterway and implement the Mumbai cycle track project called 'Haritwari Jaltiri.'As per plan, pedestrian jogging tracks, plantation gardening, service road and electrical work were also part of the plan. The main objective behind the scheme was to create healthy, pleasant, environmentally friendly transport services by creating cycle tracks and pedestrian tracks.

"It's good that the work is gong on but it's going at a snail pace. It shows that the BMC while introducing the proposal marketed it however didn't do viability studies like missing links between stretches. The body seems ill prepared," said Congress Corporator Asif Zakaria. The works were to be carried into three phases, the first phase of the project, a 14.1 km cycle track from Mulund to Sahar Road, for which Rs 131.68 crore is being spent. In the second phase, the cycle track of 12.9 km from Parsekar Chowk Ghatkopar to King Circle Matunga, Airport Boundary Line, Santacruz to Veer Aliyar Jung Marg was proposed. Rs 94.66 crore was spent but only 25 percent work was only completed.

The third phase of the scheme will include bridges over the major drains coming along this route, and protected nets will be set up to protect against wild beasts on the route passing through the Green areas in Bhandup.

"The work is going to be completed in three phases. The work has started but getting delayed due to encroachments. Once that is addressed the work will move in speed," said a senior civic official.

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