Mumbai: The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation has finally shown the green signal to the ambitious 6 meter wide 3.59 km boardwalk-cum-cycle track from Mahim Fort to Bandra Fort project. The project, which was stuck during the pandemic was okayed after 15 months since the tender was floated. The civic body has made a provision of Rs. 262 crore for the track. The track will run along the sea between Mahim fort and Bandra fort, along the existing road on the other side
The idea was floated by former state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray in 2021. Accordingly, a tender for boardwalk-cum-cycle track was floated in August 2021. However, during the Covid pandemic, BJP and Congress leaders opposed the plan over high cost, the project was stalled for over a year. Recently the civic body has approved the proposal to award a contract to the joint venture of M/s Unique Construction - Speco Infrastructure.
It will also appoint M/s Tandon Urban Solution Pvt. Ltd. as a consultant for the project. The consultancy charges for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT- Mumbai) to proof check the design, is Rs. 36.66 lakh. The contract period for the project is 12 months (excluding monsoon) and it will be made on a design, build, operate and maintenance basis. The contractor will also be required to maintain it for 10 years. The work will be allotted at cost of Rs. 218 crores, while the civic body has sanctioned Rs. 262 crores for the project, mentions the proposal.
“The total length of the stretch will be 3.59 km and the width will be six metres, including 1.75 metres of a walkway with 2.5 metres of cycle track in between and another 1.75 metres of cycle track on the other side. The cycle track and boardwalk is to be made from coloured bitumen and composite wooden material respectively. It will be the first of its type and will promote tourism in the city,” said the senior civic official.
Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects) P. Velarasu said, “It is mainly a boardwalk for the public to walk and enjoy. Cycling tracks are also provided.”
However, Ravi Raja, the former opposition leader of BMC has opposed the project and labelled it as waste of taxpayers money. Cycle tracks should be connected to main roads, bus stations and railway stations. Instead, the project is planned just for beautification work.
The earlier project of the cycle track built by the BMC near Shanmukhananda hall at Matunga is now a haven for drug addicts and slum dwellers. It has also become a local parking space causing inconvenience to the residents and traders. The local traders along with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) protested last month demanding removal of the track and making the area encroachment free.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )