The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed to demolish and reconstruct 10 bridges across the city. After a foot overbridge (FOB) connecting the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) collapsed, the civic body had ordered a structural audit of about 300 bridges. The audit found 29 bridges to be “extremely dangerous” requiring immediate demolition.
The civic body last week floated tenders for demolition and reconstruction of 10 bridges over the next three to six months by spending about Rs 125 crore. These bridges include Pipeline bridge in Hans Bhugara Marg at Santa Cruz East, bridge across Juhu-Tara Road near SNDT nullah, bridge at Gandhi Nagar, Kurar village, bridge across Oshiwara river, Jogeshwari west, and bridge near Laxmi Baug nullah near Ghatkopar BEST depot.
“All of these 10 bridges will be demolished and reconstructed. To expedite work and minimise traffic jams, we will continue construction work in monsoon also,” a senior official from the bridges department said.
After the audit recommended the demolition of 29 bridges, the BMC started shutting them. So far, more than 20 bridges have been shut to traffic or demolished. This has led to huge traffic chaos in several parts of the city and drawn criticism from motorists and activists over poor planning.
“If the BMC had carried out proper maintenance and repair of these bridges regularly, the city would not have faced so many traffic problems. It’s purely the civic body’s apathy because of which so many bridges are being shut or demolished now,” said Manoj Gupta, a motorist from Ghatkopar who used to take Laxmi Baug nullah bridge.
Meanwhile, the BMC has finalised the contractor for repair and reconstruction of six bridges in the eastern suburbs. The civic body is expected to spend Rs 7.79 crore on these bridges. The proposal for reconstructing these bridges will be tabled before the Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday. These bridges include the one near Sant Muktabai Hospital in Ghatkopar West, bridge at Panther Nagar in Vikroli and FOB near Ramabai Nagar at Mulund.