Mumbai's Coastal Road snippets

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has cleared the coastal road project of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation--with some caveats. The BMC must consider adding a tram on the seaward side of the coastal road as it is eco-friendly and will also boost tourism, instead of a Rapid Transit System (also known as the dedicated bus corridor).
The MCZMA has told the BMC that at no cost, the interchanges can be built on mangroves and that the road at Malwani must be built on stilts and not, as was planned, on mangroves. The BMC was also told to allow ingress of water in mangrove areas so that mangroves are not killed. The BMC was also told to plant five mangroves for each mangrove that is destroyed. A report prepared by consultants for the BMC says that 47 hectares of mangroves could be disturbed.
The BMC had provided for cycle tracks from Malad to Bandra, but the MCZMA wants a dedicated cycle track with entry and exit points at all interchanges. The BMC has been also told to provide cycle parking at all locations. The BMC has been told to have sitting and resting benches at all intervals.
The BMC has also been asked to install a solar lighting system for the coastal road. The BMC has also been told that livelihood of the fishing community must not be affected at all. A majority of the Koli community in Mumbai, a voting base of the Shiv Sena had raised a hue and cry against the coastal road. The BMC has proposed a wall for the protection of the landward structures, but the MCZMA wants the BMC to explore the possibility of green structures for protection of the coast.
The 30.07 km road will provide an eight-lane link from Nariman Point to Kandivli. It was a pet project of the then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and then given a boost by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. The CM wants to do a grand ground breaking ceremony by October or November this year.Though it will be executed by the Shiv Sena controlled BMC, the BJP wants to showcase this as its gift to Mumbaikars. The project has been sent to the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MOEFCC) for the final go-ahead.
In December last year, the central government amended the Coastal Regulatory Zone notification to allow reclamation of land to build the Rs.14,000-crore coastal road, and gave an in-principle go ahead to a project that has been pending for years. Once completed, officials claim that it would be one of a kind road in India on par with roads in San Diego and Sydney. The BMC will also construct two tunnels ­ a 3.2 km tunnel from Tambe chowk near Chowpatty to Napean Sea road and a 4.25 km tunnel from Khar Danda to Juhu beach.
More recently, the BMC has decided to extend the coastal road of Mumbai from Kandivali to Mira Bhayander and thereafter connect the coastal road to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway, despite all objections from environmentalists.
The BMC first revealed this plan in a meeting with the chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya last month and the chief secretary has asked them to draw up detailed plans for these. A senior officer of BMC said, “We have decided in principle to take the road ahead because the Western Express Highway is choked and has reached its capacity.'' The coastal road will be constructed by BMC and the plans to take it to Kandivali have already gotten the approval and the tender process will start soon.
The design of the Kandival-Mira Road stretch is yet to be worked out, but Gorai residents are all set to oppose it if it passes through their village, as they are opposed to urbanisation of their villages. So far, they have successfully kept the Madh Gorai sealink at bay.

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