Mumbai: Even four days after the closure of Gokhale bridge in Andheri, the decision on demolition of this bridge is yet to come. The BMC and the Western Railway officials will be meeting on Friday to work out a final solution to the issue.
The Gokhale bridge that connects the east-west in Andheri was closed for pedestrian and vehicular traffic from November 7. Since the closure has caused a massive inconvenience to the public, the BMC had set a target to complete the bridge by September 2023. But both agencies are passing the buck on the decision to demolish the portion of the bridge over railway lines. So the civic authority is yet to start the tendering process for the reconstruction of the bridge.
2 lanes to be opened up by September 2023
“We want the demolition process to be completed on priority so that we can float the tenders for the reconstruction work in the next few days. We are also trying to get the design of the bridge over the railway portion cleared from IIT-Bombay. We hope tomorrow’s meeting with railway officials will be fruitful,” said the senior civic official.
The civic body announced on Wednesday that the two lanes of the bridge were to be made operational before the end of May 2023 for traffic while the other two lanes will be opened up by September 2023. Meanwhile, to ensure smooth movement of traffic in Andheri, the K-West ward has started removing illegal hawkers on the alternative routes. But the civic officials have said that while taking this action they will require the support of Mumbai police to ensure the maintenance of law and order.
Requesting for this help, they have written a letter to DCP Zone 9 and DCP (traffic). “We have asked police protection including female constables while taking action against illegal hawkers on the alternate routes where the traffic of Gokhalebridge is diverted. The action will be taken in two shifts on JP Road, SV Road, Gazdar Road, Amboli signal and Irla Society Road.”
Adv. Godfrey Pimenta, activist in Andheri, said, “Hawkers were doing brisk business on Irla Society Roads which also saw a number of illegally parked vehicles on the said road which added to traffic congestion. Many ambulances are not able to reach RN Cooper hospital during the golden hour as a result of which the patient may lose his life”.