THe Coastal Road project has encountered a fresh hurdle, with the Maharashtra Maritime Board, which had given its nod to the project last year, recently making new recommendations. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has refused to implement the suggestions.
The BMC had applied for the MMB’s clearance to the Coastal Road Project in 2015. On May 1 last year, the authority gave a letter saying it had no objection to the alignment of the proposed road. However, the letter also said the alignment could be improved upon and that it should be done in consultation with the MMB. More than a year later, the MMB sent another letter to the BMC on June 15, making several points, including a mandatory construction of breakwater for the proposed jetty to transport materials for the project.
The Board also highlighted the possibility of accidents and recommended that a trauma care hospital as well as search and rescue management system be set up near the jetties. With reference to the latest alignment, in which the Coastal Road has been divided into southern and northern halves, the BMC has proposed two temporary jetties, at Priyadarshini Park and at Worli.
After a month, the MMB sent a second letter on July 15, repeating the suggestions and asking the BMC for an action-taken update.
The BMC sent a reply to the MMB on August 16, saying the suggestions couldn’t be adopted.
“They first said they had no objection with the alignment and then more than a year later, they have come up with new suggestions. We have pointed out these discrepancies to them. We have already secured permissions from all other departments, including the Environment Ministry and the revenue department, and we cannot use additional funds to accommodate the new suggestions,” said an official from the Coastal Road department of the BMC.
On the suggestion of constructing a breakwater, which involves dumping tetrapods to break the flow of the tide at the jetties, the official said the jetties are only temporary. “The project includes a sea protection wall and we don’t need breakwater for the jetties since we are just using them to transport material for construction,” said the official.
Defending the MMB’s stand, Atul Patne, its chief executive officer, said, “We had given an in-principle nod for the project last year. However, the alignment of the Coastal Road has since been changed several times and the BMC will need NOCs separately for them.” He added that the BMC would need nods for any development on reclaimed land, since that falls under the jurisdiction of the Maritime Board.
Under the Coastal Road project, around 90 hectares of land will be reclaimed for its southern phase and 40 hectares for the northern phase. Of the 29.20-km long bridge, the south phase will run from the Princess Street flyover till the south end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link while the north phase will cover the stretch from the north end of the Sea Link till Kandivli.