The ministry on Thursday issued a notification to this effect.
Mumbai: The decks have been cleared for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) ambitious coastal road project, as the Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) has given its final clearance for its south phase: The Princess Street Flyover to Worli end of Bandra-Worli Sealink (BWSL). The ministry on Thursday issued a notification to this effect.
Civic officials in March had made a project presentation before the MoEF’s Expert Appraisal Committee for projects related to coastal regulation zones (CRZ). The committee last month had given its CRZ permission for the project. Acting on its recommendations, the Centre has approved the first phase of the project.
“As the MoEF has given its final clearance, the project work will now start soon. The bids will be invited shortly and work is expected to start from October,” said a senior civic official.
The Rs 12,000-crore coastal road project, beginning from Marine Drive near the Princess Street flyover up to Kandivali (29.22 kms), is to be built along the city’s western coast connecting South Mumbai via the BWSL. In an effort to expedite it, the BMC has decided to divide the project into two parts: Southbound and Northbound. The south part includes the stretch from Marine Drive to BWSL and the north part BWSL to Kandivali. The south end project is divided into three parts: an underground tunnel from Princess Street (Marine Drive) to Priyadarshini Park, a bridge from Priyadarshini Park to Baroda Palace (Haji Ali) and a road from Haji Ali to BWSL. However, the committee has put forward certain conditions asking the BMC to fulfil them while carrying out the project. Prominent among them are that the coastal road should be toll-free and the reclaimed land shall not be used for any commercial or residential purpose. Other conditions include: Open spaces created by reclamation are fully protected against encroachment and illegal parking; the green spaces should be done in eco-friendly manner by developing it with novel concepts as open-air butterfly garden, marine and coastal biodiversity display; the project shall ensure rehabilitation and resettlement of the fishermen communities; a dedicated BRTS lane must be maintained and will be used exclusively for public transport and not for commercial or VIP transport.
Expressing his joy about this development, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted on Thursday: Good news! Mumbai #CoastalRoad gets final environmental approval from the Central Govt. This coastal road will ease the congestion of western expressway and give a faster and smoother ride to Mumbaikars.”