Mumbai News

Mumbai Gokhale Bridge: Govt announces probe into delay in reconstruction, minister declares timeline to open b – Times Now

Minister Uday Samant

Photo : PTI

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has announced an investigation into the alleged delay by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in issuing the work order to reconstruct the Gokhale bridge in Andheri. Responding to the inquiry demand raised by BJP MLA Ameet Satam in the Legislative Assembly, the state industries minister Uday Samant informed that a probe has been initiated.

The bridge was in a dilapidated state for a long period and a portion of it collapsed in 2018, claiming two lives. However, the key connector in Andher was closed in November, and the civic administration finalised the tender and approved the contractor to rebuild the bridge a week ago only. The work order is yet to be issued.

However, the minister said the demolition works are going on on a war footing and he announced the date to reopen the bridge.

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“The first lane of the bridge will be commissioned in March 2023, while the second lane will be opened for vehicular traffic by December next year,” the industries minister told the Assembly.

The Western Railway started the demolition of the rail-over-bridge earlier this month. The asphalt layer was removed first and the dividers, iron rods and girders are being dismantled.

The Assembly discussed the closure of the bridge at length. BJP’s Ameet Satam opined the delay in the reconstruction was “unpardonable” and it “caused hardship to the people of the city”. Other legislators Sunil Rane and Parag Alavani also invited the house’s attention to the huge traffic congestion the area was witnessing since the closure of the bridge. Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya Thackeray demanded that the IIT and VJTI reports allowing two and three-wheeler traffic on the bridge shall be made public.

The Gokhale bridge, on one of the busiest roads in the suburb, was closed for two years from November 7 after a structural audit declared it dilapidated and beyond repair. The city residents have been demanding the authorities expedite the work.

The minister also told the Assembly that the state government will conduct a structural audit of all bridges in the city in a time-bound manner.