BMC plans ₹12crore treetop walkway @ Malabar Hill

BMC last week floated tenders for constructing a treetop walkway at Malabar Hill that will offer an unhindered view of the Arabian Sea and a walk over the green cover of the hills. The Malabar Hill Forest Trail project is expected to take around six months to complete and will cost around Rs 12 crore.

Activists, however, pointed to possible damage to green cover due to the project.

The plan, cleared by BMC for the elevated walkway, is similar to Singapore’s treetop walks. Mumbai has several skywalks, but the elevated treetop walks for pedestrians at Malabar Hill will be the first-of-its kind in the city.

“The walkway will be 705 metres long and be 1.5 metres high. The deck will be 2.4 metres wide and there will be seating arrangements every150 metres. There will also be a glass bottom. The main structure will be of steel, while the deck will be wooden, with some civil work too,” said P Velrasu, additional municipal commissioner (projects).

BMC officials said there will be decorative lighting and CCTV cameras all along the walkway. There are plans to rope in tree experts and arrange for guided walks for students.

Officials said the portion over the storm water drain outfall will become the viewing deck. The elevated treetop walk can be accessed from Siri Road, which connects Marine Drive to Malabar Hill.

State tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray met senior BMC officials regarding the project. “The Siri Road area is visited by thousands of morning walkers and tourists. We have planned the construction in a way that not a single tree is damaged. People will be able to walk through the greens and enjoy stunning views of Marine Drive. This will benefit locals and tourists. We are also converting the SWD outfall at Walkeshwar-Girgaon Chowpatty intersection into a viewing deck,” Aaditya said.

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