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Mumbai: Encroachment delays BMC’s cycling track project, cost goes up

The civic body has managed to construct a stretch for only two kilometres in Mulund and NITIE Gate to Vijay Nagar in Marol, that too as a pilot project.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai |
February 10, 2019 2:42:07 am
The proposed cycle track will be connected to 10 Central Railway stations, 5 Western Railways stations and four Harbour Line stations with 40 exits. (Representational)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) ambitious cycling track project along the Tansa Pipeline has seen little progress in the last six months. The civic body has managed to construct a stretch for only two kilometres in Mulund and NITIE Gate to Vijay Nagar in Marol, that too as a pilot project.

The project is facing encroachment issue at many places because of which construction work is going on in parts.

The cost of construction of the 36-km project from Mulund to Wadala has also increased from Rs 350 crore to Rs 488 crore. For 2019-20, the civic body has made a provision of Rs 120 crore in the budget.

According to officials, encroachments and lack of access are causing hurdles in the execution of the project.

“We are creating tracks where we get encroachment- and obstruction-free land and have proper access. In many places the track have been created, but it can not be used due to encroachment. Out of the three phases, work has started on two phases. In the last stage we will take up beautification work.”

The official added, “In Bandra East, part of the track is ready, but it is not in use as there is no connectivity. Currently, there are auto-rickshaws parked on the tracks. We will clear the autos once the stretch is connected to other parts of the track.”

Meanwhile, opposition leader Ravi Raja said, “The cycle track project is moving at snail’s pace. It has increased the cost of the project. Now, BMC has increased the budget for this project. It clearly shows lack of implementation.”

Speaking to The Indian Express, Chief Engineer, Hydraulic Engineer department, A S Tawadia said, “As of now we cannot say exactly how much work has been completed, as it is going on in parts. The work is expected to be completed in 2020. We would be able to give some idea in the next six months. I will also have to check what led to the rise in project cost.”

Last year, after the BMC cleared encroachments along the Tansa Pipeline at many places following the Bombay High Court order, the civic body planned project “Green Wheels along Blue Lines”. According to officials, the cycle track and walkway on the side will be of 3 metre each, while the service road will be of 4 metre.

A senior official from the Water Department said, “The theme of this project is to keep water trunk mains encroachment-free by developing the green corridor. The project is to create dedicated alignment of cycle track for hassle-free and eco-friendly mode of transport.”

The proposed cycle track will be connected to 10 Central Railway stations, 5 Western Railways stations and four Harbour Line stations with 40 exits.

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