Geo- tech anal­y­sis for tun­nel un­der SGNP on anvil

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Kunal Chonkar kunal. chonkar@ dnain­dia. net

The Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion ( BMC) is just two steps away from se­cur­ing the per­mis­sion to start geotech­ni­cal anal­y­sis for check­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of con­struct­ing a tun­nel un­der the San­jay Gandhi Na­tional Park ( SGNP). The 7km tun­nel is a part of the pro­posed Gore­gaon- Mu­lund Link Road ( GMLR) pro­ject.

The GMLR pro­ject is di­vided in three phases: Phase I in­volves de­vel­op­ing ROB at Nahur sta­tion; Phase II in­volves ex­pan­sion and widen­ing of the AN Vaidya Marg and Film City Road and Phase III in­volves con­struct­ing a tun­nel un­der­neath SGNP.

Civic of­fi­cials who were in Nag­pur on Sat­ur­day con­firmed that the prin­ci­pal chief con­ser­va­tor of forests ( PCCF) has rec­om­mended to the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment, civic body’s ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing to con­duct geo- tech­ni­cal anal­y­sis for Phase III of the pro­ject.

“The PCCF has in­formed us that our ap­pli­ca­tion has been sent to the state wildlife board. It will then be sent to the Na­tional Wildlife board for fi­nal ap­proval,” ad­di­tional mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner ( Projects) Dr San­jay Mukher­jee said. He added that af­ter the re­port by IIT- Bom­bay ad­vo­cat­ing the pro­ce­dure lined by BMC, they have high hopes of BMC se­cur­ing ap­proval from both state and na­tional wildlife board.

Ac­cord­ing to the IIT re­port, avail­able with dna, the as­pect of re­mote sens­ing, which was sug­gested by SGNP of­fi­cials, “will not be of any use for tun­nel de­sign and im­pact as­sess­ment”. With BMC propos­ing to con­struct the tun­nel at a depth of 30- 40 me­ters be­low the ground level, IIT has marked geo- tech­ni­cal anal­y­sis as the only op­tion to be im­ple­mented. A se­nior PCCF of­fi­cer said the depart­ment will side with the civic body and place the ap­pli­ca­tion in front of the state wildlife board within a week.

“The state wildlife board, headed by the chief min­is­ter, is ex­pected to or­gan­ise a meet­ing within a week. The CM will clear the ap­pli­ca­tion as it is one of the prime mo­bil­ity infra pro­ject in the city, which will re­duce traf­fic time to con­nect west and east ends of Mum­bai,” the of­fi­cial said.

In June this year, the BMC had re­ceived a ma­jor set­back re­gard­ing the GMLR pro­ject. The civic body was de­nied per­mis­sion by the state for­est depart­ment to dig pits to con­duct geo- tech­ni­cal test­ing of the soil strata at SGNP. The cor­po­ra­tion had out­lined a plan to drill seven test bores in the 104sqkm area of the park. Cit­ing dis­tur­bance to bio- di­ver­sity, the SGNP for­est of­fi­cials, how­ever, had turned down the re­quest.

Mean­while, devel­op­ments were also re­ported in Phase I and II of the pro­ject. Ac­cord­ing to Mukher­jee, af­ter float­ing ten­ders for Phase I ( Nahur ROB), the BMC has re­ceived of­fers from var­i­ous com­pa­nies. The work is ex­pected to start af­ter Septem­ber. Ten­ders are ready for Phase II and will be floated soon.

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