The state expert appraisal committee (SEAC) of the environment ministry has recommended a proposed convention centre-cum-commercial complex in BKC for clearance.
The complex will be spread across 75,000 square metres and will accommodate 25,000 people.
SEAC,which screens and and decides whether to recommend to the state environment impact assessment authority proposals for construction projects spread over 20,000 square metres for clearance,has also asked proponent Reliance Industries to install noise barriers along Western Express Highway between Kherwadi Junction and Government Colony to mitigate impact of the project.
Reliance will have to install the barriers in association with other developers in the area and MMRDA,the special planning agency for BKC,as part of its corporate social responsibility.
MMRDA had alloted the C-64 plot to Reliance in February 2006 but the company could not develop it due to a pending litigation.
Analysis shows peak-hour traffic of 9,900 passenger cars per hour due to developments in the area. This will increase air and noise pollution on Western Express Highway in Government Colony. Therefore,the project proponent is directed to develop noise barriers, SEAC said in its recommendations.
The committee found it to be a well-planned project with world-class facilities. Mumbai lacks a convention centre and in that sense the project is necessary. The committee has decided to recommend it for approval, said Ravi Bhushan Budhiraja,chairman of SEAC. The project will involve construction of four basements and 18 floors. Reliance Industries has submitted preliminary plans. They are working on a detailed design,so the cost of construction is still to be finalised. It is expected to be a large convention centre with a capacity to accommodate about 25,000 at one time, said a senior MMRDA official.
A Reliance spokesperson said: We are eager to start work on this iconic convention centre at BKC and are awaiting regulatory clearances. All work will be done as per conditions and approvals given by the various statutory authorities. The project was delayed since there was a stay order from the high court for a period of approximately 5 years (2007 to 2012).