|Work on the cycling track along Tansa pipeline will start in March or April. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had initiated a massive demolition drive in November and December to remove encroachments along the pipeline.|
The project, Green Wheels Along Blue Lines, will cost around ₹360 crore. The BMC has proposed to spend ₹100 crore in 2018-19.
The project is being executed by the BMC’s Hydraulic Engineering Department and will be built in three sections of around 10 km each: Mulund to Andheri (East), Bhandup to Bandra (East), and Kurla to Mahim.
Senior civic officials said that work on the Mulund-Andheri (East) stretch will start first since most encroachments have been removed in this area.
“Work on the remaining sections will take some more time. We still need to remove some encroachments in the other sections mostly in Bandra East and Sion,” a senior civic official said. Bids for the project have been invited and the BMC is currently in the process of selecting a contractor.
Senior officials say that they are also working on a fourth tender for the project. This will include works that require some special engineering such as building a bridge across Mahim Creek and a section in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which will need to have a protective cover in order to prevent animals from entering the track.
Three pilot projects
The BMC has already started work on three pilot projects in Mulund, Powai and Sahar. “We have been building the cycling track at three locations as a pilot project. The areas were chosen since there were no encroachments and we could start work. The Sahar project will only be a recreation space with a walking track, while the other two will have both. These sections will be integrated with the entire track,” said, Ramesh Bambale, deputy municipal commissioner (special engineering).
The BMC in its drive cleared encroachments up to 10 metres on either side of the track. The track will have a service road on one side and other side it will have a jogging track, a cycling track and trolley track, the third being for servicing the pipeline. According to the BMC’s plans, the entire track will have 40 entry or exit points, and provide connectivity to a total of 19 railway stations, seven Metro and four Monorail stations.
The demolitions along the pipeline are following a 2009 Bombay High Court order. There were over 16,000 structures along the pipeline, which needed to be demolished in pursuant to the order. A massive fire broke out at Garib Nagar in Bandra (East) during the demolition drive on October 27.