Cen­tre nod to re­claim land for city’s coastal road plan

But MoEF turns down BMC plea, says CRZ norms will ap­ply

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Faisal Ma­lik and Chetna Yerunkar faisal.ma­lik@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: The am­bi­tious Rs12,000crore plan to build a 33.20-km coastal road from Na­ri­man Point to Kan­di­vli got a ma­jor boost with the cen­tre clear­ing recla­ma­tion of land from the sea for the pur­pose.

The Union min­istry of en­vi­ron­ment and for­est (MoEF) on Wed­nes­day is­sued the fi­nal no­ti­fi­ca­tion in this re­gard for the project, which the gov­ern­ment says will ease traf­fic on Mum­bai’s roads. Crit­ics have warned of en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age to Mum­bai’s coast and ques­tioned the huge out­lay on a project that is not aimed at mass rapid tran­sit.

How­ever, the MoEF has not al­lowed the Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion’s plea to al­low de­vel­op­ment on the land­ward side of the road. Coastal Reg­u­la­tion Zone rules would re­main in force for the re­claimed land.

Roads on re­claimed land shall not be taken as au­tho­ri­sa­tion for per­mit­ting de­vel­op­ment on the land­ward side, the no­ti­fi­ca­tion said.

“Use of re­claimed land may be per­mit­ted for roads, mass rapid or mul­ti­modal tran­sit sys­tem, con­struc­tion and in­stal­la­tion on land­ward side of such roads of all nec­es­sary as­so­ci­ated pub­lic util­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture,” the no­ti­fi­ca­tion said. Of­fi­cials were await­ing a for­mal copy of the no­ti­fi­ca­tion to clar­ify the de­tails and make any changes to the project plan if needed.

With the no­ti­fi­ca­tion, the BMC, the im­ple­ment­ing agency, will be able to start the ten­der­ing process af­ter a month by when it will have to sub­mit the en­vi­ron­ment im­pact as­sess­ment re­port to the state and the cen­tre.

Chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fadnavis thanked Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter Prakash Javdekar for the no­ti­fi­ca­tion. “It’s a dream come true for Mum­baikars,” Fadnavis tweeted.

With an eye on the 2017 BMC elec­tions the rul­ing BJP and Shiv Sena BJP will push to fast­track the project.

Peer re­view con­sul­tants were ap­pointed by the civic body last month to study the de­tailed project re­port. Their first re­port is ex­pected by Fe­bru­ary.

BMC com­mis­sioner Ajoy Me­hta said, “The en­vi­ron­ment im­pact as­sess­ment re­port will first be sub­mit­ted in a month’s time as we al­ready have the de­sign and de­tails in place and si­mul­ta­ne­ously we will work on the ten­der­ing process as well.”


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