Mumbai News

Submit a report on infra works and related traffic blocks in Mumbai: Maharashtra assembly speaker – Times of India

MUMBAI: Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narvekar on Tuesday asked the state to come up with a comprehensive report on how many bridges in Mumbai are to be rebuilt, of them how many are underway and to be reconstructed later, and the timeframe to complete them so that people know how long and where the present traffic woes will continue.
“Submit a detailed information in the house,” ruled Narvekar in his unexpected dictate to the minister Uday Samant after all party legislators raised the issue of unprecedented traffic jams triggered by ongoing infrastructure works across Mumbai such as the reconstruction of crucial Gokhale bridge in Andheri. The issue saw Thackeray and Shinde factions coming face to face accusing each other of delaying project works and creating traffic chaos in the city.
Legislators Atul Bhatkhalkar, Dr Bharati Lavekar, Rutuja Latke, Yogesh Sagar, Ashish Shelar, Kalidas Kolambkar, Amin Patel and Aslam Sheikh through a calling attention motion raised the issue of Gokhale bridge being closed for traffic since November 7 thus impacting not only traffic but also affecting the commute for school-going children, elderly and ailing people besides emergency services such as medical ambulances taking a hit. They demanded its reconstruction on war-footing.
Meanwhile, minister Uday Samant assured the house that the two-lanes of the new Gokhale bridge would be open to traffic by March 2023 and remaining two lanes in December 2023 admitting the delay in getting the NoCs to begin the work. To a demand from legislators Amit Satam, Samant announced that state would investigate why the bridge work delayed for four years after it was found weak in a first official structure audit survey in 2018. He also said state would make inquiry into Rs 22,000 crore asphalting works granted by erstwhile government.
Sena leader Aditya Thackeray said the IIT and VJTI reports on Gokhale bridge have permitted its use for two and three-wheeler traffic and questioned its full closure. Legislator Aslam Sheikh said with the works peaking up on hancock bridge, Delisle bridges, Himalaya bridge, there could be a chaos on the roads and hence insisted on taking immediate review and readying action plan to help relieve the woes of commoners. Samant also announced a renewed audit review of all the bridges to give impetus to the reconstruction works with the help of railways and the BMC.
Meanwhile, Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state would soon create a multi-layer information on status of utility infrastructure such as pipelines, electricity towers, forests or trees etc across the state to speed up projects and avoid delays. “At the planning stage of the projects itself this information once gathered will help us immensely in procuring all the permissions and NoCs quickly and thus achieve their completion even more speedily,” he said pointing out that chief secretary Manukumar Shrivastav had been entrusted with a responsibility of creating the multi-layered information.