The delay in construction of Delisle Bridge has caused hardships for commuters and residents wanting to access the business district of Lower Parel. While the demolition of the nine-decade-old bridge, constructed by the British, began in August 2018, the new bridge that was expected to be completed by 2022 has not yet become operational.
Location: Delisle Bridge, Lower Parel
Dug up for: Reconstruction of new bridge over the railway track
Executing agency: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Western Railway
When was the work started and deadline: Work started in August 2018. The new deadline is January 2023.
How the work is affecting commuters: The Lower Parel Bridge, which is more popularly known as Delisle Road bridge, is an important connectivity link road between east and west. It caters to rush from Currey Road railway station as well as Lower Parel. Since the Lower Parel area has a large number of industrial, commercial and corporate offices, thousands of commuters and locals were using the bridge daily for traveling between Lower Parel, Currey Road, Worli Naka in the west and Lalbaug and Byculla in the east. With the bridge shut, pedestrians are now using railway bridges to cross the tracks.
Residents and commuters said that the closure of the bridge is a major inconvenience to their daily lives. Santosh Jadhav, a resident of Worli, said that now they have to go all the way to either Parel or Mahalaxmi to reach the Worli side. “Lower Parel is a corporate hub and even Worli has a lot of offices. For office goers, absence of Delisle Road bridge has become a nightmare. Now, a person coming from Currey Road station has to walk at least 1 km using the railway bridge to go to the other side. Also, the local market near Lower Parel is facing a revenue loss as it is now cut off completely,” he said.
Residents in the Delisle Road area have also been facing traffic issues due to the demolished bridge. Residents said they now have to spend about an hour for a round trip to Worli Naka or Dadar West.
“When the bridge was operational, we used to take hardly 5 to 10 minutes to reach Worli or Dadar from Delisle Road. But now it takes at least half an hour, one way. In case of any death in our area, we used to cremate the body at Dadar Crematorium. After the bridge is demolished, one has to go all the way to Elphinstone Bridge. There is huge traffic on that stretch,” said Pradip Patil, who lives near Delisle Road bridge.
What do officials say about the delay: The BMC has said that work is impacted due to delayed launch of girders by Western Railway over the railway tracks. “We have completed our work and are awaiting the railway portion to be finished. Only after girders are launched can we start work on approach roads. It will not take more than three months,” said an official from BMC.
According to railway officials, the first and second girders are likely to be launched by August and the bridge could be opened for public use by the end of 2022 or January 2023.