Mumbai News: Locals Call For Suspension Of Khar Subway Flyover Tender; Urge BMC To Reconsider Plans

Mumbai News: Locals Call For Suspension Of Khar Subway Flyover Tender; Urge BMC To Reconsider Plans

Under the current plan, the BMC has initiated a tender and solicited bids for the construction project. The proposal involves three phases, with the elevated road from the western end of Khar subway to WEH constituting the third phase.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 09:31 AM IST
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Mumbai News: Locals Call For Suspension Of Khar Subway Flyover Tender; Urge BMC To Reconsider Plans |

Mumbai: In a fervent display of civic activism, residents of Santacruz (east) gathered on Sunday to voice their opposition to a contentious tender aimed at connecting Khar West to Bandra. The tender, which has sparked controversy, has drawn the ire of locals who are urging the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to reconsider its plans and revert to the original flyover design.

Hemal Mehta, president of the Santacruz East Residents’ Association, advocated for the original flyover plan, stating, “We are proposing that the flyover should go from Khar subway to WEH, as was originally planned.” Mehta expressed concerns about the feasibility of the current proposal, highlighting the narrow roads and potential disruption to daily life. She emphasized the impracticality of children navigating the proposed flyover to reach school and the environmental impact of tree removal. Mehta also criticized the reluctance to address encroachments by the Golibar slum settlement, which she alleged was prioritized for political reasons over residents' well-being.

Details On BMC's Tender Of The Project

Under the current plan, the BMC has initiated a tender and solicited bids for the construction project. The proposal involves three phases, with the elevated road from the western end of Khar subway to WEH constituting the third phase. The initial two phases aim to connect Khar west with Santacruz (east) and Bandra terminus via elevated roads traversing densely populated residential areas. The estimated project cost stands at ₹2,400 crore, inclusive of goods and services tax, with a projected completion timeline of 42 months. The issuance of the work order is anticipated following the conclusion of the model code of conduct for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Additionally, concerns were raised about the obstruction of views and potential congestion resulting from the flyovers passing through densely populated residential areas.

Citizens Voice Concerns Over Issue

Advocate Trivankumar Karnani, founder of Mumbai North Central District Forum, echoed these sentiments, he said, "The Khar Subway Elevated Bridge proposal is flawed. It is will not act as a efficacious remedy to decongest the vehicular traffic movement through the west & east side of khar Subway. The BMC needs to work towards clearing illegal hutment encroachments & the plan must be to have the entry/exit of the east side of Khar Subway to be directly on Western Express Highway (North Bound). Proposing the exit on the east side into a lane in Santacruz East will once again lead to traffic bottleneck at the proposed entry/exit of east spot."

Hemal Mehta, emphasized the impracticality of the proposed flyover, stating, "The initial phase aims to link Khar subway (west) with Santacruz (east), traversing the entire stretch of road number 7 before turning towards road numbers 6 and 10, ultimately reaching road number 11. Given the narrowness of these roads, constructing a flyover is not feasible. The projected timeline for completion spans 2-3 years. Are they expecting our children to navigate the bridge with their heavy school bags, then travel to Santacruz west to catch an auto during this period? Moreover, road number 6 boasts lush greenery, necessitating the felling of trees for construction."

The encroachment of Golibar slum settlement on the Airforce Defence Land has further complicated the situation, with residents alleging political reluctance to address the issue. Despite ongoing efforts to communicate their concerns to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and BMC Commissioner IS Chahal, residents have been directed to lobby the central government for the transfer of land ownership to BMC.

As tensions escalate between residents and authorities, the fate of the Khar Subway Flyover project hangs in the balance, emblematic of broader challenges facing urban development and civic engagement in Mumbai.

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