BMC set to start work on Phase II of cycle track

Civic body finds contractor for constructing stretch covering Ghatkopar, Chembur, Parel and Bandra

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is a step closer to starting construction on the second phase of the proposed 36-km-long cycle track along the Tansa pipeline.

It has found a contractor for 12 km of the track, which will run through areas such as Ghatkopar, Chembur, Parel, and Bandra. The project will cost almost ₹100 crore and a proposal will be tabled before standing committee on Wednesday.

The Bombay High Court had directed the corporation in 2009 to clear nearly 16,000 encroachments around the pipeline, which supplies water to Mumbai, from a security point of view. The 10-m width to be cleared on both sides was to have freed up eight lakh square metres of land. It was decided that the encroachments will be removed and a cycle track created along it to ensure the land is not encroached upon again.

The 36-km-long track will run from Mulund to Wadala, criss-crossing various areas, and running in patches. It will cover areas such as Andheri, Parel, Bandra, Mahim, GTB Nagar, Sakinaka. The track will be elevated in Mahim and be developed in three phases. Various portions will have different themes including Bollywood, books, and biodiversity. The project has been termed ‘Green Wheels along Blue Lines’, and will cost around ₹300 crore. The corporation has set aside ₹100 crore for the track in this year’s budget. Small stretches in Mulund and Powai have already been thrown open.

Valid for 18 months

The BMC has finalised Skyway Infraprojects for a second phase that will run along Ghatkopar, Chembur, Bandra East and Parel. The contract involves creating the cycle track, a 3.8-km service road, beautification and maintenance. Its total cost is ₹119 crore while the contract is valid for 18 months.

Samajwadi Party corporator Rais Shaikh said, “This is Phase II A of the project. We are preparing tender documents for Phase II B, which will likely come up before the standing committee in September. The Bhandup cocoon section and Mahim elevated section will be done in Phase III,” said Ashok Tawadiya, Hydraulic Engineer, who is spearheading the project. The project has come in for criticism for its costs, running up to ₹10 crore per km. “We had pointed out the high costs, but the proposal is still being brought. We will ask for a presentation.”

Congress leader Ravi Raja too said the price was exorbitant. “There were only two bidders, of which one was selected. But this is against the Central Vigilance Commission guidelines. If three bidders are not there, they should have reinvited bids,” said Mr. Raja.

The BMC has not yet been able to remove all encroachments, even though it wants to complete the stretch by the end of next year.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:19:49 AM |

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