Mumbai: Deteriorating Conditions And Safety Concerns Plague Everard Nagar-Chunabhatti Subway; BMC Neglect

Mumbai: Deteriorating Conditions And Safety Concerns Plague Everard Nagar-Chunabhatti Subway; BMC Neglect

Residents of Everard Nagar and Chunabhatti are expressing concern about the deteriorating condition of the 20-year-old subway under the Eastern Express Highway. Cracks have been discovered on the underpass, accompanied by leakages at multiple spots and waterlogging.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Friday, June 21, 2024, 01:49 AM IST
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Mumbai: Deteriorating Conditions And Safety Concerns Plague Everard Nagar-Chunabhatti Subway; BMC Neglect |

Mumbai: Residents of Everard Nagar and Chunabhatti are expressing concern about the deteriorating condition of the 20-year-old subway under the Eastern Express Highway. Cracks have been discovered on the underpass, accompanied by leakages at multiple spots and waterlogging. The stretch near Everard Nagar was previously a notorious accident hotspot, with 20 major accidents reported in 2001 and 2002.

Built by the MMRDA in 2003 to prevent accidents, the subway is now itself posing a significant risk to pedestrians. During a visit to the site, FPJ discovered that the tiles on the walls were cracked, and the slab above the staircase was found to have extensive cracks. Water was observed seeping from these cracks, revealing a surprising sight - the BMC had attempted to conceal these leakages by covering them with sellotape.

Jacob, a Local resident of Chunabhatti, said, "It's a two decades old subway, look at its condition, the tiles are broken, leakages are visible, though they have installed pipes to suck water from the subway it is of no use. We wrote letters to BMC to build a bridge in case of water logging in the subway. They are also planning a new bridge for taking U-turn for vehicles similar to Anna Bhau Sathe Flyover, but what about pedestrians, should they die in water? It's very unsafe."

Sanjay Raje, a resident of Everard Nagar, said, "It is very unsafe to walk from this passage, water can be seen and sometimes it covers your legs till knees. Once or twice a year some work is taken but again we see the damage, after temporary repair again we see damage. Even in summer you will find water leaking."

VM Kher, another resident of Godrej Coliseum Everard nagar said, "Walking here is a horrible nightmare for years. It's not only hazardous but very dirty for the common man. For senior people and kids it's nothing short of disaster and nobody, corporators, MLAs are bothered to do anything at all. Very unsafe can create physical injury on a regular basis, nothing since to be done. It's rubbish trying to do falsification in the name of beautification, with huge amounts used going to waste."

MLA Mangesh Kudalkar emphasized the necessity for a lasting solution, stating, "I have proposed to build a pedestrian bridge at this place. The foot over bridge will be more useful when there is waterlogging in the subway. Not only in monsoon but this subway has water leakages throughout the year. We tried suction pumps installation and repaired leakages plenty of times yet it needs major repair, thus we think building a foot over bridge for pedestrians would be more useful. Somewhere this subway is leaking."

Former opposition leader of the BMC, Ravi Raja, stated, "The maintenance of Mumbai's subways, foot overbridges, and flyovers falls under the purview of the BMC, and it is their responsibility to ensure their upkeep. If Sion Circle subway is well-maintained and cleaned, then there is no reason why Chunabhatti subway cannot be similarly maintained. Given its location beneath the Eastern Express Highway, people cannot simply walk across the highway; they need a functional subway. This issue falls under the bridges department, and they should investigate it. The BMC lacks the competence and takes these matters lightly. A thorough audit of all subways in Mumbai is necessary, as the corporation has neither a lack of funds nor manpower to tackle this problem. It is imperative that this issue is addressed promptly."

In response to this Dhanaji Herlekar, Assistant Commissioner of L Ward told FPJ, "We are well aware of the concerns surrounding this issue and have been taking proactive measures to mitigate the problem. At present, we have installed a suction pipe to address the daily leakage issues, and we regularly clean this area to maintain its safety. The local MLA has proposed the construction of a foot overbridge for pedestrians and has suggested shutting down the subway due to its hazardous condition. However, building a new foot overbridge would require a significant amount of time. In the meantime, we are working diligently to ensure that the subway is safe for pedestrians. I have recently submitted a new proposal for the maintenance of the subway."

Residents expressed disappointment at local authorities spending substantial funds on beautifying the exterior of the subway with paintings, sculptures, and prominently displaying banners taking credit for these enhancements. Many voiced concern that these resources could have been more effectively allocated towards repairing and maintaining the subway itself. The disparity between cosmetic improvements and essential structural repairs has left community members frustrated, highlighting the urgent need for a reassessment of municipal priorities and resource allocation.

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