Mumbai: BMC’s ‘Architectural Marvel’ Criticized: Six-Foot Gap Raises Questions on Commuter Safety

Mumbai, 1st March 2024: The Mumbai civic body is facing criticism and ridicule for leaving a vertical gap of nearly six feet between two important flyovers, sparking a political row and raising questions about commuter safety. The Gokhale Bridge, connecting Andheri East and West, was recently opened with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) praising it as an “architectural marvel.” However, the Barfiwala Flyover, linked to the Gokhale Bridge, was not joined due to a significant height difference, leading to concerns about the purpose and safety of the newly inaugurated structure.

The Gokhale Bridge, which collapsed in 2018 and was reconstructed after demolition in 2022, was expected to reduce travel time for commuters. However, the failure to align and link the two flyovers has triggered disappointment among residents. Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray criticized the Maharashtra government, alleging corruption and inaugurating a “half-ready, embarrassingly delayed bridge.”

Opposition leader Anand Dubey raised concerns about the lack of coordination between BMC, railways, and the contractor, questioning whether the government expects Mumbaikars to make a “long jump” to reach the other flyover. The Shinde faction of the Sena blamed the misalignment on the Railways’ new policy, requiring an additional 1.5 meters height for the Gokhale Bridge, leading to a height disparity with the Barfiwala Flyover.

The political blame game continues, with assurances from Team Shinde about seeking help from technical institutes for a solution and promises of completion by December. However, commuters remain sceptical, expressing frustration over the prolonged construction process and the potential for further disruptions to rectify the mistake.