Mumbai: BMC sneaked another central park into DP at last minute

Aug 04, 2017, 08:11 IST | Laxman Singh

Local fishermen are still protesting against the BMC's plan to build a 300-acre park in Cuffe Parade - on the lines of New York's Central Park - but the civic body has proposed to add another park to the cityscape. As per Development Plan 2014-34, which was passed by the BMC on Monday, there's a proposal to build a central park on the east coast, near Mazgaon.

Environmentalists warn that the move could damage the coastal belt and disturb marine life.

The BMC's plans for a coastal road plan and Shivaji's statue in the sea have already been panned plenty of times over the past year.

Sources said BJP group leader Manoj Kotak suggested the Mazgaon park in the DP at the last minute. The land for the proposed park belongs to the Mumbai Port Trust, which has offered to revamp the eastern waterfront.

Experts warn that multiple reclamations may severely damage the city's coastal belt. Debi Goenka, executive trustee of Conservation Action Trust, said, "All reclamations affect the coastal line irrevocably. When land near the Marine Drive was reclaimed, it led to erosion at Versova beach. Construction of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link affected the Mahim beach in nine days. Thirty years ago, the beaches were at road level, but now they have gone down by 25-30 ft."

Goenka also alleged that little research is done before such plans are executed. Environmentalist Anand Pendharkar said, "It's ridiculous how we are harming nature to build some parks and statues. Why destroy the coastal landscape only to beautify the city?"

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