Mumbai should have gone for Elevated Rail over the existing suburban network long back, says Gadgil

MUMBAI: Maharashtra government should have gone in for construction of Elevated Rail Track over the existing suburban network of Western and Central Railways from south Mumbai towards at least Ghatkopar and Bandra, said Congress MLC Anant Gadgil.

Speaking to reporters at Mantralaya, Gadgil, an architect and a town planner said he had way back in 1997 recommended construction of such an elevated rail track whereby in times of the recent deluge of August 29 or July 26, 2005, people could have without facing hardships able to leave their workplaces in South Mumbai and head home.

He added that the elevated rail track can be built without disturbing the existing suburban rail network by constructing the elevated track on column beam arches just like the Mono and Metro Rail corridors.

“At times when heavy rains disrupt rail and road traffic, the elevated rail track can function and ease the situation on the ground. Prior to the July 26, 2005 deluge, I had warned the government to take remedial measures or else the metropolis will face devastation in near future,” he said.

Calling for an end to granting additional Floor Space Index (FSI) in Mumbai, Gadgil advocated the need for creating self-contained sub-growth centers between the triangle of Mumbai-Pune-Nashik region.

He said that these sub-growth centers should be self-contained in terms of industries, residential premises, schools and so on.

He added that there is a limit to which the city can grow and steps need to be taken to take the pressure off the metropolis.

Gadgil further said the drainage system that exists today was laid down by the British Improvement Trust (BIT) way back in 1932, of which we have only been able to replace 60 per cent of it.

“In the town planning schemes in eastern suburbs of Wadala, Sewri, Bandra-Khar or Parsi Colony in Dadar, the British had earmarked an area of 15 to 20 feet around the buildings for earth and gardens that soaked up excess rains,” he said.

Now in the process of allowing parking spaces, these open spaces have been concretized creating heat spots which are primarily responsible for decrease in the rainfall, he added.

Referring to the storm water drainage system, he said that at present the government is only spending on its maintenance and not on upgradation.

Gadgil said out of eight to nine pumping stations required for the city, only six have been built.