Mumbai: The online petition started by the residents of south Mumbai opposing the Coastal Road is receiving striking response from the people. By Saturday evening, more than 2,930 people had signed the petition addressed to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to stop the Coastal Road work till they were explained the design plan in detail.
The petition on change.org called “Save the coast – develop responsibly” was started earlier this week by the residents of Priyadarshani Park and Breach Candy. It said that the Coastal Road project was counter to public interest and that the residents should be given an opportunity to understand all aspects of the project including environmental issues, pedestrian movement, vehicular traffic etc.
However, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC’s) chief engineer (coastal road), Mohan Machiwal, said that it was next to impossible to stop work of such a big project now. He added, “The design plan of the Coastal Road has been in the public domain since June 2015 and the residents have already been explained the plan in detail through presentations.”
The 29.2km long Coastal Road is an ambitious project of the BMC connecting Marine Drive to Kandivali and is divided into three phases. The work for phase one- Marine Drive to Worli Seaface (9.8km) costing Rs 12,969 crore has already begun in October last year. The project aims to ease vehicular traffic from south Mumbai to the western suburbs.
Around 250 south Mumbai residents organised a public hearing last week protesting the reclamation of 90 hectares of land for the Coastal Road, stating that it had environmental hazards and the BMC could opt for a sea link.
A senior civic official said, “Were the residents sleeping for 3.5 years? They should not think only of their area but of the entire city’s traffic. The design cannot be changed at this time. The work has already begun”.