MMRDA plans direct link from metro stns to BKC diamond bourse, malls

MUMBAI: Step out of the metro and walk straight into your office or a mall, without stepping on to the road.A common feature the world over, it may soon be a reality in Mumbai. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is inviting offices, shopping complexes, malls to build connectivity from a metro station to their premises.

U P S Madan, metropolitan commissioner, said this can be done only if the metro stations are close to the offices or malls. For instance it is in talks with the Bharat Diamond Bourse, which has a huge workforce, to build a skywalk to the bourse from Metro-II B.

"The idea being people don't have to come out on the road to reach the office.It also means that many fewer people on the road," he said.

A similar connectivity is A similar connectivity is being planned to two big malls on the New Link Road--one at Goregaon (Inorbit Mall) and the other at Malad (Infinity Mall). This connectivity will be given from the Metro-II A line.

"While we are building the metro, businesses interested in having this facility will have to pay for the cost of construction of the connectivity. And of course they will also have to pay a premium to the MMRDA as we will be driving footfalls to these places," said Madan. He added the amounts are still to be worked out.

The world over, it is common to have metro stations that open straight into museums like the Louvre Museum, Paris, the American museum of Natural History, New York, shopping malls, offices etc. In Chennai, the Ashok Nagar metro station has a skywalk to a cinema theatre. Moreover, in Navi Mum bai, at the Seawoods railway station, the Harbour Line platform of Central Railway leads to a newly opened mall.

Heritage conservation architect Vikas Dilwari said such planning is okay for new areas if it can be integrated, but in places like DN Road and Colaba which have a large number of heritage buildings, it would have to be careful and sensitive. "It may solve one problem but may create several others," he said.