August 20, 2012 2:19:26 am
Even as the decade-old plan of implementing east and west coast water transport projects got a boost earlier this month with the contracts getting close to finalisation,the project needs several clearances before Mumbaikars can avail themselves of the option of commuting to work using waterways.
The MSRDC needs to secure these clearances before it starts construction of the terminals to support the water transport networks. The agency had planned to start construction by October.
The water transport projects on the west and east coasts require an environmental clearance and approval from the Maharashtra Maritime Board. Other than these,the east coast project also requires approvals from the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) for the construction of terminals.
We have got an in-principle nod from the state,so an approval from the maritime board should not be difficult. The major hurdle would be securing approvals from the MbPT. All the three terminals will be in water,so we need permission from MbPT because it is under their jurisdiction, said an MSRDC official.
Once the east coast water transport project is up and running,commuters will be able to sail from Mandwa to Ferry Wharf with a halt at Nerul. The lowest bids for the construction of terminals on the east coast and an elevated road from Ferry Wharf to P DMello Road amount to Rs 440.47 crore.
The MSRDC had first approached the MbPT for approvals on January 25. The latter had raised some queries to which the MSRDC replied. Their questions were mostly related to navigational channels. They havent responded yet. We cant start construction without the clearances, the official said.
The proposal for getting an environmental clearance for the east coast water transport project had come up in the most recent meeting of MCZMA held on July 30. The MSRDC,however,requested the authority to defer the matter to the next meeting,saying it was not ready with the details for the proposals for the east coast,but presented the proposal for the west coast instead.
The MCZMA decided to recommend the west coast water transport project to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF),saying the construction would involve dredging. The MCZMA put forth certain conditions,such as the MSRDC should plant five times the area of mangroves affected,no commercial or residential construction and activities in CRZ-I should be on stilts.
We have got a clearance from the maritime board. We hope to get the MoEFs nod soon, said an MSRDC official in charge of the west coast project.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines