Mumbai: The BMC will be installing escalators on skywalks to make them more pedestrian-friendly. At present the only skywalk at Jogeshwari (East) has an escalator installed in it. Most of the skywalk has low footfall except a few connected to the railway bridges.
Around 24 skywalks built by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) in 2007, were later handed over to the BMC. The BMC now has the responsibility to build, repair and maintain the skywalk. However, it was observed that the skywalks connected to the railway station bridges only got a good response. While the skywalks linked to internal roads have low footfall. Also, the skywalks are inaccessible to senior citizens and disabled people. Some of the skywalks have also become a place to stay for drunkards and addicts.
The only skywalk at Jogeshwari (E) has an escalator installed in it. "The purpose of constructing the skywalk fails to serve as few people use it. So it was decided to install escalators on the skywalk where they are needed the most. We have appointed a consultant to study where and how escalators could be installed in the skywalks in the city," said a civic official.
Deepak Kesarkar, Mumbai Guardian minister said, "The BMC has been instructed to install escalators as well as lifts on the skywalk. So, henceforth, the skywalks will be pedestrian-friendly." The BMC has already started to install escalators on the footover bridge in the city. The skywalk provides walking space for pedestrians far above the congestion outside the station due to hawkers and autorickshaws.