The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is preparing to take over showpiece roads and flyovers, which the city’s development authority had constructed and commissioned over the past two years, for maintenance.
This would include the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, with its double-deck flyover, the Milan and Dahisar rail over-bridges, the Sahar elevated road that leads up to the new airport terminal, the Eastern Freeway and flyovers on the Ambedkar Road.
The norm is that agencies in charge of infrastructure creation such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) are to construct roads and then hand them over to the BMC for maintenance. There have, however, been delays in handing over certain roads and bridges to BMC in the past. This has led to blame-games, with agencies pointing fingers at each other when citizens complain of bad roads during the monsoon.
SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, said, “We have started discussions with MMRDA about taking charge of all flyovers and roads that have been recently constructed, and are in care of the authority, for maintenance such as the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, Milan Rail over-bridge, the freeway and so on. Some flyovers on the Ambedkar Road are already in BMC’s care, while the rest would also be transferred now. The entire process is likely to take about two months.”
Along with the showpiece projects, BMC is also in the process of taking over the skywalks that MMRDA had constructed, Srinivas said.
“Although the skywalks were constructed a long time ago, they are still with BMC’s care and there is no proper mechanism in place to maintain these,” he added.
With there being very few users, most skywalks around the city have been severely criticised for poor planning and, later, for their lack of maintenance as well, with garbage strewn across the structure at several places.
An MMRDA official, who did not wish to be named, said, “The major work involved in handing over the projects will begin now. We will submit all maps, drawings and other paperwork involved for BMC to understand the project since the organisation will now have to maintain these roads. However, it will take some time for the Eastern Freeway to be handed over to BMC because some work is yet to be completed by us. The development authority is yet to complete the ramps to the Eastern Freeway near Mahul.”