BMC Plans to Renovate Trails in Heritage Districts of South Mumbai | Bombay News

MUMBAI In a welcome gesture, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is getting ready to beautify the trails in some heritage areas in southern Mumbai and make them suitable for pedestrians. The civic organization plans to implement the in-place molding method to redo the trails at Churchgate Pedestrian Square, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Chowk, Metro Junction, Horniman Circle and Veer Nariman Street.

In 2020, BMC had piloted the section of trail between the Fort campus of the University of Mumbai and the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). In this project as well, the municipal body had implemented the method of poured-in-place concrete instead of using the usual paving stones and tiles. The pour-in-place method involves the use of concrete and cement which are prepared at the job site and poured over the surface, after which they are left to harden. Almost all of the existing trails in Mumbai are constructed using cobblestones and slabs, which ends up making their surface uneven over time. The cost of maintaining pavers is higher while the lifespan is short.

P Velrasu, additional city commissioner (projects), said using concrete instead of cobblestones or slabs will ensure the longevity of the trail and also reduce maintenance costs. “We are going to merge the trail with the existing pavement on the road. The surface of these trails will be smoother and more pedestrian friendly. We will redevelop these trails so that wheelchair users can move around easily, ”said Velrasu.

To ensure pedestrians are not inconvenienced, only 100 meters of work will be done at a time and the cost of the whole project has been set at around Rs45 crore, he said. The project must be completed within 12 to 15 months, which includes the monsoon season, and the BMC has already issued the work order for this. “These trails will be panel constructed so that if any part of the trail is damaged in the future, we can replace that sign with a new one instead of digging the entire trail,” Velrasu said.

As the project will be undertaken within the heritage precinct, BMC has engaged conservation architect Pankaj Joshi as a consultant for the project. Joshi said that in addition to reengineering the sidewalks, new street furniture, including concrete benches, traffic signs and bus shelters, will also be installed on the sidewalks. Joshi was also part of the pilot project that BMC undertook last year.

“Pavers and slabs used in trail construction easily peel off the surface, making the surface uneven. This is why people prefer to walk on roads rather than on trails, which is why we will design the trail surface for universal accessibility. In addition to redesigning the trails, we will also reorganize the edges of the trees which will give more space for the roots to grow, ”said Joshi. He mentioned that since the work will be carried out over a longer area, the width of the sidewalks will vary between 1.2 to 2 meters and 9 to 11 meters.

“The primary objective of this project is to make intelligent use of the space available to us. Spaces dedicated to street vendors will be created and we will also paint the lanes highlighting the parking spaces in these areas. This will minimize encroachment and encourage more people to use the trails, ”he said.

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