The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) that is constructing Metro 7 currently has no plans to build skywalks to help passengers cross over the Western Express Highway after alighting from a train.
As of now, there are no proposed foot overbridges for 11 stations as part of the Metro 7 construction.
According to a senior official from the MMRDA, Metro stations have been planned near existing over bridges or subways. “We will construct the bridges only where a station is on the central median so that commuters can connect to both sides. For other stations, commuters can use the existing facility,” he said.
Of the 14 stations on the Andheri East-Dahisar East Metro 7 route, only two are on the central median — Shankarwadi and Pushpa Park. An over bridge would be constructed at Dahisar station where Metro 7 extends to connect Mira Road and also connects with Metro 2.
Rest of the alignment on the Andheri East-Dahisar East corridor is on the western side of the roads and commuters who want to reach the other side will have to climb down from the metro stations and head to a nearby underpass, subway or climb onto another skywalk, officials said.
“At certain locations, other government departments have proposals to construct skywalks. We are looking at how we can connect them to metro stations. We are also considering options to connect the existing skywalks to the nearby metro stations,” said the official. A passenger will have to cross the road to access Mahindra & Mahindra station in Kandivali as there is no existing infrastructure and no agency has a plan to construct one.
“The Western Express Highway is not pedestrian-friendly with very few skywalks. But when you are constructing a metro, it is important to think of the last mile connectivity. For most metros, walking is an integral last mile connectivity option. It is absurd that they have not thought about it so far. But it is not too late and they should do it, along with the construction of the metro,” said Rishi Aggarwal, a transport expert.
According to an official, it is not possible to construct skywalks over flyovers. “At locations where a station is next to a flyover, we cannot construct a skywalk. We will have to construct it at least six metres above the flyover and that will become too high,” explained the official.
A portion of the existing skywalks along the alignment will have to be dismantled during the construction of the metro to install girders. The MMRDA officials claimed that those would be replaced within a few days.