A MONTH after the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) raised objections to the civic body’s ambitious coastal road project, it gave its approval to the project at a meeting Tuesday. Sources in the civic body said additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee made an hour-long presentation about the heritage-related issues in the meeting. The heritage committee expressed its satisfaction and reportedly okayed the proposal after the presentation.
Earlier, the heritage committee had raised objections that the current alignment of the proposed road could destroy the charm of the Marine Drive promenade. The committee had said the underground tunnel proposed at Marine Drive threatened to push the promenade further on tretra pods at the sea front. Another objection raised was about the obstruction to Bandra Fort due to the proposed viewing deck. Heritage committee members had raised objection, saying it would ruin the beauty of the heritage structure. Besides, the view of the Haji Ali shrine would be obstructed due to proximity of the road’s interchanges.
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The 34-km coastal road, estimated at Rs 11,000 crore, will connect Kandivli to Marine Lines by under-sea tunnels, elevated road and roads on reclaimed land. Highly placed sources have said that the heritage panel’s members’ queries were given detailed responses by Mukherjee. “For the promenade, the BMC showed the plans and stated that the promenade will be extended to the Princess Street flyover, its length and width would not be reduced. The heritage character will remain intact. The BMC also assured the panel that the Bandra Fort structure would not be touched,” explained the source.
On Haji Ali shrine, it was revealed that the heritage panel only had jurisdiction of around 100 metres near the precinct. “The coastal road line is more than 500 metres away from it. So, technically the panel does not have jurisdiction. However, the BMC showed the simulation to explain how the coastal road and the shrine will be after the construction. The panel appeared satisfied with the changes and explanations,” said the source.