The Bandra Reclamation Area Volunteers’ Association (BRAVO) is vehemently objecting to the proposed cycle track and boardwalk from Mahim to Bandra. BRAVO is getting ready to move the Bombay High Court if its concerns are not addressed properly by the BMC.
BRAVO chief writes letter BMC commissioner
In a letter to Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, BRAVO chairperson Vidya Vaidya said, “We BRAVO members are shocked to note that the BMC Chief Engineer has issued a work order on DBO (design, build, operate) basis for a boardwalk and cycle track from Bandra Fort to Mahim Fort.”
On August 18, 2021, the residents’ association had expressed in writing its opposition to the project which was then proposed to be executed at a cost of Rs167 crore. The cost has since escalated to Rs262 crore.
Ms Vaidya pointed out, “In our earlier letter we had detailed our 13-point objection to this cycle track and boardwalk project owing to safety and security concerns arising out of a high security sensitive seaside area being made accessible to all, besides destroying the open space of the Bandra Reclamation promenade.”
She said the association has once again noted there has been no consultation with the local residents i.e. no due process has been followed, nor due diligence done, before unilaterally reviving such a project. “We had also exposed the huge cost implications and suspected irregularities regarding this project,” she added.
Reclamation repeatedly targeted for fanciful expenditures
The local residents feel that the Bandra Reclamation Sea Link promenade is being “targeted repeatedly for such fanciful expenditures’” which destroy open spaces in the area.
BRAVO has already raised concerns over the ready mix concrete plan across the MSRDC office in the vicinity. The plant is to supply concrete to the Bandra-Versova Sea Link project. Local fishermen have also objected to the project and have said that it will affect their livelihood.
It is reliably learnt by the Free Press Journal that local MLA Ashish Shelar, who is also city president of the BJP, has reservations against the Mahim-Bandra cycle track and boardwalk project and the cement concrete plant.
On November 29, this newspaper had reported the BMC’s nod to the ambitious 3.59km long and 6mt wide cycle track. Officials had said that the project was stuck owing to the pandemic. The idea was floated by former state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray.
Contract already awarded to private player
Recently the civic body approved the proposal to award the contract to the joint venture of M/s Unique Construction and Speco Infrastructure. It had announced appointing M/s Tandon Urban Solution Pvt Ltd as a consultant.
The consultancy charges for the IIT Bombay to proof check the design is ₹ 36.66 lakh. The contract period for the project is 12 months (excluding monsoon). The contractor will also be required to maintain it for 10 years.
The cycle track and boardwalk are to be made from coloured bitumen and composite wooden material, respectively. “It will be the first of its type and will promote tourism in the city,” a senior civic official had said in November.