In an effort to protect the space under the city flyovers from encroachment, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has decided to develop sports infrastructure and open gyms in this space, officials said.
The civic body has already developed an open gym along with a jogging track under the flyover that connects Nerul, sector 21 with sector 46. They are now planning to develop infrastructure for table tennis and volleyball along with an open gym under the flyover that connects Sanpada, sector 16 with sector 8.
Sanjay Desai, city engineer of NMMC said, “The space under most of the flyovers in Navi Mumbai is lying unused and taking advantage of the situation some people have encroached on them for parking vehicles, running small shops among others. Some homeless people are also staying under a few flyovers and neither. We, nor the police department, have any idea about their background. So to beautify the place, we have decided to develop sports infrastructure and open gyms under the flyovers.”
In the first phase, the NMMC has chosen two flyovers at Nerul and Sanpada. The work at Nerul flyover was completed earlier this week. “We are now waiting for the approval of the civic body for the work at Sanpada, we have set aside a budget of ₹60 lakh for it,” he said.
Another senior officer from the engineering department said that they are now conducting a survey to finalise few more flyovers in the city. “In this survey, we will prioritize only those bridges which are in proper residential areas. Those on the highways will not be selected as that may not be safe for the users,” he said.
Rajat Bose, 39, a resident of Nerul said, “During monsoon, we normally cannot go for a walk in the parks and gardens and hence cannot work out at all. Now, with these gyms and jogging tracks in place, we can go and work out under the flyovers even when it rains heavily. The NMMC should take such measures in other areas too.”