Mumbai News: Andheri Residents Cry Over Unequal Footpaths, Restricted Access As Gokhale Bridge Eyes Partial Opening On Feb 25

Mumbai News: Andheri Residents Cry Over Unequal Footpaths, Restricted Access As Gokhale Bridge Eyes Partial Opening On Feb 25

In a letter addressed to the BMC chief, residents highlighted the inadequate footpath size and narrow access points on the Gokhale bridge.

Prathamesh KharadeUpdated: Friday, February 16, 2024, 02:44 PM IST
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Gokhale Bridge | File

Mumbai: The BMC is now poised to open one side of Andheri's Gokhale bridge on February 25 following six deadline extensions. Despite this assurance, local residents remain skeptical about the BMC's ability to fulfill its promise of opening the entire bridge before the monsoon, as phase 2 works still await completion.

Apart from the delayed partial opening of the bridge, the residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the pedestrian access on the Gokhale bridge, citing unequal and narrow pathways. Despite assurances from the BMC, concerns remain regarding the width of the footpaths, with discrepancies observed along different sections of the bridge.

Residents Write To BMC Chief Regarding Unequal Footpaths

In a letter addressed to the BMC chief, residents highlighted the inadequate footpath size and narrow access points on the Gokhale bridge. The letter, supported by more than 40 residents and activists, emphasized the urgent need for corrections to ensure safe and convenient pedestrian movement.

Residents pointed out specific issues, including the unequal width of pathways—three people wide on the west, barely accommodating two people across railway lines, and only one person wide on the east side ramp. Additionally, concerns were raised about the height of walls between the footpath and the railway bridge, contributing to a cramped and uncomfortable environment.

Residents Complain On Hindered Access To Footpath

Furthermore, residents expressed concern over the absence of space for a pedestrian staircase on the bridge's external wall, hindering access from Andheri station road on the west side. Despite proposed plans, residents noted a lack of progress or provisions for such infrastructure.

They also criticised the BMC for rushing construction activities to meet deadlines, potentially compromising the quality of workmanship. They urged the BMC to prioritise thorough and meticulous implementation over expedited timelines.

The bridge was shut for the public in November 2022 after being declared unsafe. The strike at a steel plant at Rourkela in May 2023 and flooding at an Ambala workshop further delayed the delivery of steel to Mumbai. The estimated project cost is Rs 90 crore.

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