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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Maharashtra: Green nod in, Aksa beach set for makeover

With all the clearances of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and Environment in, the anti-erosion sea wall, under two-feet in height, will come up at a cost of Rs 20 crore at the beach in the western suburbs of Mumbai.

Written by Vallabh Ozarkar | Mumbai |
Updated: January 13, 2022 8:04:42 am
Aksa Beach, Maharashtra (Express Archives)

A kilometer-long anti-erosion wall, landscaping, food plaza, volleyball court and a pathway made of cobalt stone – All this and more will soon come up at the Aksa Beach, which is set to undergo a revamp by the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB).

With all the clearances of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and Environment in, the anti-erosion sea wall, under two-feet in height, will come up at a cost of Rs 20 crore at the beach in the western suburbs of Mumbai.

An official said the area will be divided into 11 parts having different sections of landscaping, including a garden for senior citizens, children play area, beautified entrance and parking area for tourists, food plaza, lawn, mobile chemical toilets, open gym, space for yoga, wooden shacks and steps for sitting, bamboo shades or gazebo, open volleyball courts and a pathway of cobalt stones.

Besides, plantation of different species of trees, which can survive on the beaches, along with setting up of ambience-lighting will be carried out.

The work, which will start as soon as a contractor is selected, is likely to be over in 2023 and is expected to boost tourism in the area.

An official said that being one of the cleanest beaches in the city, Aksa has become a tourist attraction in recent years with several visiting it in the evenings, on the weekends and holidays. In order to cater to these tourists, there is a need to carry out coastal beautification and increase revenue at the beach by creating a sustainable and green infrastructure, the official added.

Earlier, the MMB had sought an approval from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) with a proposal which involved a lot of construction work on the beach. However, MCZMA did not give it a clearance citing the CRZ norms.

“The current plan has been chalked out considering all the CRZ norms. There will be no construction or concretisation activity which is why we have got all the approvals. The area chosen for the activity is also a mid-section for high and low tide.  An inspection by the Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS) and IIT-Bombay will be carried out on the quality of the revamp to ensure that the activity does not harm the beach,” said an official.

The whole project will be completed within 18 months once the work is assigned to a contractor, the official added.

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