Mumbai: Despite several big-ticket infrastructure projects getting scrapped or delayed after the change of power in the state, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has continued work on the ambitious tree-top walkway at Malabar Hill. Mumbaikars may be able to access the walkway by the new year.
BMC had proposed a 700-meter-long treetop walkway in the upscale Malabar Hill neighborhood in South Mumbai last year. Subsequently, in December 2021, the BMC awarded a ₹22 crore tender for the project.
“The work for creating this tree-top walkway is going on in full swing. The piling work is being done currently and fabrication work will be taken up next. We are aiming to complete this project by January next year. We are hopeful that in the coming new year, Mumbaikars will be able to enjoy a walk through this walkway,” said Prashant Gaikwad, assistant municipal commissioner, who is spearheading this project.
During the tendering stage, the BMC had set October 2022 as the deadline for this project. Civic officials said that there has been a delay since Malabar Hill is in a silent zone and construction work could be carried out in limited hours of the day only.
“This is also an eco-sensitive zone so we have to remain extra cautious. Besides, during monsoon also we can continue work in a limited capacity,” Gaikwad said.
According to the blueprint of the walkway project, which was backed by former cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray, citizens and tourists will be able to enjoy an unhindered view of the Arabian Sea and the Green Cover of the Malabar Hills from this walkway.
Gaikwad said that this walkway is being built keeping in mind the nature trail skywalks present in Singapore. The walkway will be 1.5 meters high and 2.5 meters long.
Meanwhile, after the change in state government, several ambitious projects of the BMC have been either canceled or pushed into cold storage. Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has scrapped five major tenders this year amounting to ₹1,464 crore.
The scrapped tenders include ₹569 crore for laying utility cables, ₹160 crore for creating a tunnel laundry, ₹402 crore tender for revamping the Deonar abattoir, ₹291 crore tender for creating additional animal enclosures at Byculla Zoo and a ₹44 crore tender for an aquarium inside the zoo. Besides this, the BMC’s plan to create a cycle track between Mahim and Bandra is also in cold storage.