The proposed Coastal Road will now be extended to Ghodbunder Road from the Bandra-Versova Sea Link (BVSL). Approved by a committee set up by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Friday, the proposed alignment of the 33-km extension will take up some more forest land and open spaces from the city.
“The committee has approved the alignment of the coastal road from Versova to Ghodbunder Road. We will now begin the process for seeking environmental clearances for the stretch,” said Sanjay Khandare, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, which will implement the project. The proposed road will begin at the Versova end of the Sea Link and head to Marve, connecting Ghodbunder Road at National Highway 8 through Bhayandar. This will be constructed on the Eastern side of the Gorai Creek and will be parallel to the existing Link Road. With several infrastructure projects taking up green spaces in the city, this coastal road will also cut through several mangrove patches, salt pans and forests.
“We will seek permissions from all the relevant environment bodies before construction. It will be a long process since the alignment passes through different terrains like mangroves and salt pans,” said a senior MMRDA official. A committee comprising Commissioners of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Commissioner (MBMC), Thane Collector, officials from Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and Public Works Department (PWD), members from the department of civil engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and department head of National Institute of Oceanography, among others, zeroed in on this alignment. In August 2017, the MMRDA’s executive committee had appointed a consortium of STUP-Darashaw as consultants to study the different possible alignments.
“We initially began with six different alignments and brought them down to two. We were planning to construct either on Eastward side of the Gorai creek or the Westward side. The final alignment was chosen based on the number of people it will benefit and the construction cost,” said a senior MMRDA official. The MMRDA plans to begin construction simultaneously as the work on the other two phases of the coastal road is undertaken. “The construction of the extension to Ghodbunder Road will be conducted simultaneously with the other two phases,” added Khandare.
Meanwhile, the remaining coastal road, estimated to cost at least Rs 12,000 crore, will be constructed in two phases. BMC will construct the south Mumbai stretch from Princess Street Flyover to Bandra-Worli Sea Link, while MSRDC will construct the 9.6-km of the BVSL. The work on the Sea Link is proposed to begin after monsoon this year. Connecting the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, the bridge will have interchanges at Otter’s club in Bandra and Juhu Koliwada, apart from an exit at Versova.