Preparations to demolish two foot over bridges in Powai on the Mumbai Metro 6 route or the Pink Line 6 from Swami Samarthnagar to Vikhroli (East Dhritagati Marg) are underway. These include the one in front of the IIT Market Gate and the pedestrian bridge at Milind Nagar.
During the construction of Jogeshwari – Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) route, these bridges was constructed at a cost of crores of rupees to facilitate residents to cross the busy road in the populated and office areas of Powai. This was done in view of the large number of vehicles passing through there and the difficulties encountered by pedestrians at road crossings. Citizens have objected to the removal of the bridge, saying that it would become problematic to cross the road in the near future.
The construction of the 14.5 km long corridor of Metro 6 on Swami Samarthnagar to Vikhroli (East Dhritagati Marg) from JVLR began from December 2018. However, even before its creation, some residents, and social organizations as well as environmentalists had demanded that the metro route be made underground in view of possible future problems. The JVLR route connecting the eastern and western suburbs is already heavily congested. Therefore, they demand that the problem should not be aggravated by squandering crores of rupees spent on the construction of this route, including traffic congestion.
“The project has been started without considering the measures taken to protect the environment, the location of the station, the traffic congestion on the route and the demands of the citizens. It is necessary to know the views of the citizens before implementing any new project,” said a Powai Social Worker. “After six months, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had sought advice in this regard after seeing the protests and outcry of the residents. As citizens lodged their objections this time around, alternative routes were also suggested on how to build the project on the basis of other routes without damaging the JVLR route, including the underground metro. However, the work was continued without considering the suggestions of the residents and now two pedestrian bridges on this route are being removed,” added other social activists.
Beginning to remove the foot over bridge near IIT Market Gate:
The removal of a pedestrian bridge near the IIT Market Gate in Powai has begun. This work has started from the past two weeks. Citizens are not allowed to cross the bridge. “We have started removing this pedestrian bridge with all the necessary permissions including MMRDA and IIT administration. Before starting the work, we have decided only after surveying the number of citizens coming and going from these pedestrian bridges. As soon as the Metro is completed, it will be rebuilt at a distance of 200 meters from IIT Main Gate for the convenience of the citizens. The pedestrian bridge will be rebuilt considering the height and requirements of the Metro at the time of its inception, ”said Arvind Kumar, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Project Manager-1.
Station to be constructed by removing pedestrian bridge at Milind Nagar:
The pedestrian bridge at Milind Nagar on Metro 6 route will also be removed and a metro station will be set up there. “We have corresponded with MMRDA. Work will start as soon as it is allowed. As the metro station is coming there, citizens can cross from there, so it will not be built elsewhere,” said Sanjay Kumar, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Project Manager-2.
“There are currently no plans to remove any other pedestrian bridges. However, other pedestrian bridges that obstruct the route may be removed or relocated in the future if necessary,” a senior MMRDA official said on the condition of anonymity. Powai residents, however, have opposed the decision to remove the pedestrian bridge. These pedestrian bridges are frequented by many locals. As such, the removal of this bridge will be a great inconvenience to the citizens, and it will be a disgrace to cross the road by taking lives from the vehicles. The views of citizens have never been taken into account in this entire project. This time too, the same thing has happened, and Powai residents will oppose it completely, said some Powaiites speaking on the development.