Mumbai Metro II snippets

One of the major hurdles in the path of the Metro II project has been cleared with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) agreeing to allow the car shed on mangrove land in Malad.
On Thursday, chief secretary J K Banthia, accompanied by several senior bureaucrats, met V Rajagopalan, secretary, MoEF, to discuss various infrastructure projects stuck on account of environment clearance.
Earlier, the MoEF had insisted on constructing the car shed for the Metro second line (which is to run from Charkop to Mankhurd) on stilts because of the presence of mangroves on the plot earmarked for the shed.
The state bureaucrats pointed out that there were less than 2% mangroves on the proposed plot. The government, it said, would carry out afforestation and build the Effluent Treatment Plant on non-mangrove land.
“The MoEF has agreed to construction of the car shed,” said Banthia. This would save the government Rs 500 crore, said R A Rajeev, principal secretary, environment, who was present at the meeting.
On the coastal road project, the bureaucrats asked the ministry to grant in-principle approval so that preparation of the Detailed Project Report could be undertaken. “While the MoEF is amenable to the project, they want to discuss the issue of reclamation further. We pointed out that reclamation is only for construction of the coastal road,” said Banthia.
Among those who accompanied the chief secretary were municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte, Metropolitan commissioner U P S Madan, urban development secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava, SRA CEO Nirmal Kumar Deshmukh and CIDCO chief Sanjay Bhatia.
Banthia said he has invited MoEF officials to Maharashtra before the month-end to further discuss and clear issues. 

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