Mumbai Lens: Construction city

Mumbai city looks like one big dump and an eyesore these days. For the last few years or so, wherever one looks around in Mumbai, there is something being broken down or built or repaired. The list of construction activities happening in Mumbai right now is mind- boggling; in some places this work continues 24/7.

Road widening. Monorail. Metro rail. Flyovers. Elevated roads. Slum rehabilitation. Road repair. Skywalks. Redevelopment. New construction. Pedestrian subways. Laying pipelines. Railway platform extensions …

Mumbai

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A walk in the sky – 4: Sion Skywalk

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning in Mumbai and I am standing at the foot of the stairs leading up to the Sion Skywalk at the Sion Circle exit. The skywalk’s stairs are so close to the adjacent building that they appear to be an extension or appendage of the building itself! In fact, I can just lean over and tap on the windows from the stairs if I want to.

Once on the skywalk, I just take a moment to pause and look around. I like skywalks in general as I like the pleasurable feeling of being suspended in mid-air and watching the world go by. I also like the perspective that skywalks offer, almost like a bird’s-eye view. But the first thing I notice here is not the view, but the relentless noise — a combination of the roar of traffic and incessant honking. And this is a sound that threatens to bring on a headache at 9.30 am in the morning !

Don't be fooled by the almost empty road below the Sion Skywalk ! The traffic noise was unbearable
Don’t be fooled by the almost empty road below the Sion Skywalk ! The traffic noise was unbearable

The Sion Skywalk, which stretches from Sion Circle to Sion Railway Station, is built at a major interchange, where traffic from Mumbai’s Western and Central suburbs meet. Inaugurated just over 2 years back, the Sion Skywalk is built in the shape of an exaggerated and a squiggly “Y” with 6 exits, of which one leads directly into the Our Lady of Good Counsel School (OLGCS). It was built keeping in mind the many schools, offices and commuters in the area and with the expectation that 50,000 commuters would use it everyday.

And does the Rs. 6 crore skywalk live up to that expectation? Let’s see…

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