The Dedicated Freight Corridor project on Monday finally got the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for its stretch in Maharashtra,thereby getting past the majority of the environmental hurdles that lay in the way of the biggest railway infrastructure project.
The CRZ clearance was crucial for a 30-km stretch of the DFCs western corridor and involved conservation of 12 hectares of mangroves in the coastal state. A formal approval a mere administrative nod after the Maharashtra Coastal Regulation Zone Management Authority has cleared it from the Ministry of Environment and Forests is now awaited.
With this,the project has successfully cleared the larger of the environmental approvals along its 3300 route-km of corridor construction through eastern and western flanks of the country. The remaining green nods that would come in its way are considered to be relatively minor in nature. A customary nod of the Dahanu Taluka Environmental Protection Authority for a stretch in Maharashtra will be the next.
We have successfully acquired the requisite environmental clearances so far. The coastal regulation zone clearance was received after just about six months of work and with full cooperation of the environmental authorities, said RK Gupta,MD of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited.
The project had earlier run into a green hurdle when it sought to fell 4,313 trees in what is called the Taj Trapezium but the Supreme Court finally allowed the felling for which the DFCC is paying with compensatory afforestation.