Amidst uncertainty over utility, AMC inaugurates skywalk

September 17, 2013

Niraj Chinchkhede, TNN

AURANGABAD: Amidst doubts over the feasibility of the skywalk built by the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) near the central bus stand, the authorities threw it open for the general public on Tuesday. MLA Pradeep Jaiswal inaugurated the facility in presence of mayor Kala Oza, deputy mayor Sanjay Joshi and others.

The city’s first skywalk, built across the busy road near the central bus stand, was completed around 15-20 days back but was rarely being used by commuters. It has been pointed out by many that the climb on the ‘faulty’ steps of the bridge was a steep one. Nevertheless, speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Oza claimed that the skywalk would be of great use to senior citizens, ladies and kids. “They can now cross the road with ease,” she said.

Deputy mayor Sanjay Joshi said that the municipal body had spent Rs 50 lakh to build the skywalk to streamline the flow of traffic near the bus stand. He appealed to citizens to avoid ‘risky’ method of road crossing and use the skywalk instead. However, when asked whether the authorities would penalise those skipping the skywalk and crossing the road on foot, Joshi said, “We are not in favour of imposing penalty. But we will definitely create awareness in this regard.”

Commenting on the pattern of the skywalk, Joshi said the designed was approved by technical experts and refused to accept that commuters were not making use of it.

“It is a newly introduced system that will take some time to click. Looking at the growing traffic in the area, people will surly use the facility,” he said.

Earlier, expressing doubts over it, member of Marathwada Development Board Vijay Diwan had said that the planners should have designed the steps keeping in mind the old and the disabled. “There should have been more landing space between the steps,” he said. He felt escalators would have been the best option but would have been a costly affair for the AMC.

Corporator Krishna Bankar has also expressed his dissatisfaction over the construction of the facility.

He appealed to the municipal administration to consider installation of automatic steps while designing such facilities at other locations in the city.

SoBo skywalk to miss deadline

June 18, 2013

Saurabh Katkurwar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 17, 2013

 The city’s most expensive skywalk, which is being constructed at Nana Chowk, has been delayed till August due to unfinished work pertaining to escalators and staircases. According to the latest deadline, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd (MSRDC) was supposed to open the 510-meter skywalk to the public in mid-June.


“Due to monsoon, some of the skywalk work is delayed. The remaining work is expected to finish in a month. The skywalk will be made open to people in August,” said MSRDC managing director Bipin Shrimali.

The original cost of the project was Rs39 crore when work commenced way back in 2008. As per the original deadline, the skywalk was supposed to be ready in June 2009. The cost has now escalated to Rs50.48 crore due to the four-year delay.

The oval-shaped skywalk, which is supported by 16 stress cables suspended from a central tower located at Nana Chowk, has three escalators and four staircases for its different arms. The MSRDC is yet to finish construction of these escalators and staircases.

“We are left with some work pertaining to escalators and elevators, which will be completed soon. In addition, finishing touches are being given to the skywalk,” said MSRDC chief engineer Subhash Nage.

Although the MSRDC claims that the skywalk will witness about 50,000 pedestrians daily, transport experts refute their claim. Transport expert Ajit Shenoy said: “The staircases and escalators have been built at the wrong locations — they are not in the direction of pedestrian flow. So commuters will not prefer to take the skywalk.”