While the state coastal zone authority had sent the proposed Worli-Sewri elevated road project back to the drawing board, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has informed the former that design changes are not possible and the project should be appraised in its current form.
The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) had scrutinised the project once earlier, and had suggested that the MMRDA add more entry and exit ramps between the two terminating points of the Rs 490-crore elevated road.
U P S Madan, metropolitan commissioner at the MMRDA, said, “Providing more entry and exit ramps along the way is not essentially an environmental issue. It is largely related to transport and traffic dispersal. If there are any issues related to protection of environment, we are willing to take all measures possible.”
Madan also said that the MMRDA had studied the project designs once again and come to the conclusion that there was not much scope to add more arms to the elevated road along the way.
“It will be difficult to get the right of way. We have submitted the proposal once again to the MCZMA with this explanation. It will come up for discussion in the MCZMA’s next meeting,” he said.
Right of way refers to availability and ownership of land along the entire stretch of the project. The MCZMA has also directed the MMRDA to hold a public consultation with residents of Worli sea face about the project over concerns that the road will exacerbate the noise and air pollution levels that have already shot up over the years due to the construction of the Bandra-Worli sea link.
The project needs the MCZMA’s clearance as a short stretch of the 4.25-km elevated road towards Sewri falls under the coastal regulation zone.
The road, for which the MMRDA had earlier expected to commence construction in 2013, has been planned to act as an intermediary between the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and the proposed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link from Sewri to Nhava Sheva.
The elevated road, which will be complete in four years once construction starts, will begin at Narayan Hardikar Marg in Worli and end near Sewri railway station. The project execution is likely to be complex as it requires the rehabilitation of close to 800 families living along the corridor and permissions from the Central Railway and Western Railway to take the road over suburban railway tracks.