Skywalks in Mumbai

Two state agencies, the MSRDC and the MMRDA, are working towards giving Mumbai as many as 35 new skywalks and one subway. Around half of the new skywalks are likely to be commissioned by the middle of 2009.All the skywalks as well as the lone subway will be constructed around some of Mumbai’s busiest railway stations. Officials say the Bandra (E) skywalk has proved to be a huge hit among a section of people who use the train to commute. The slew of projects will cost the MMRDA about Rs 560 crore; it is constructing 17 of the skywalks itself (including the one already commissioned) and is funding the MSRDC work on the remaining 18 skywalks and the lone subway, which will run from CST to P D’Mello Road. The Thane (E) skywalk is going to be the longest being constructed by the MMRDA itself; it is also going to cost Rs 32 crore and will be the most expensive of the MMRDA built skywalks. The longest of the MSRDC-constructed skywalks will come up at Masjid; it will traverse 2.2 km. Another, also being built by the MSRDC, will link Mumbai’s two busiest terminal stations, Churchgate and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The CST-Churchgate skywalk will also have an escalator. But security fears seem to have prompted the MSRDC to drop the idea of taking the skywalk right up to the Mantralaya. The MSRDC and MMRDA have already sought environmental, heritage and other clearances for all the skywalks. State PWD minister Anil Deshmukh has promised completion of all the MSRDC projects by June 2009. Government agencies will spend Rs 560 crore on constructing the skywalks. 18 of the skywalks are being built by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation but with an aid of Rs 325 crore from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. 17 of the railway stations will have skywalks built by the MMRDA at a cost of Rs 235 crore. Execution of each project on the ground will take eight months to one year. Each skywalk will be 4.2 metres to 6.7 metres wide. Some of the skywalks will have a 2.7-metre-wide space earmarked for hawkers so that pedestrians have enough room. Each skywalk will have a roof but will not be covered on either side; this will ensure free air circulation and also reduce the chances of crime. The underground subway from CST along GPO Road will be 500 metres long.

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