Mumbai: Coastal road from Kandivli to Nariman Point gets the thumbs-up

The project got a nod from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests yesterday, but the BMC-appointed consultant for the venture has not yet prepared a final detailed report on it

Mumbai's ambitious coastal road project finally got a nod from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests yesterday. However, the consultant appointed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to prepare the final detailed project report (DPR) for the 35-km long road.

The project is expected to cost Rs 8,000-10,000 crore and will take about five years to be completed. The state government had first mooted the plan of having a coastal road connecting Nariman Point to Kandivli in 2011.

During the Assembly elections, both the Shiv Sena and BJP had made it their poll plank, with Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar promising a nod if the BJP came to power. And so, on Monday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on social networking platform Twitter, “Thank you @PrakashJavdekar jee for approving coastal road for Mumbai. It’s a dream come true. Best gift to Mumbai by Modiji’s Govt.”

Fadnavis further said on Twitter that the coastal road would decongest the traffic of Mumbai and create 91 hectares of green space. In this context, green space is interpreted as the beautified patches beneath the elevated portions of the coastal road. The first draft notification for the project will be issued by June 15 and a final notification by August 15.

On June 6 (Saturday), the state government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of The Netherlands to obtain technical advice for the coastal road project as well as combining it with the Metro 3 project. The Dutch are renowned for their environment-friendly reclamation and the use of the sea, where there is land shortage.

Delay
The BMC, as a representative of the state government, is now supposed to construct the 35-km stretch between Nariman Point and Kandivli within five years. But when mid-day checked the status of this programme, it was found that the DPR for this project was supposed to be submitted by March.

Three months on, the BMC-appointed consultant has still not submitted it. “Once the DPR is created, the BMC can start the tendering process and work orders will be issued. But reclaiming land for this road is also going to be a challenge since there is encroachment on some stretches.

We will need to clear them (encroachments) before the land can be reclaimed. The road will then run in alignment with the sea,” said a senior civic official from the Roads and Traffic department. But when asked the reason for the delay, he said he would have to find out.

Metro and coastal road
The Netherlands will offer technical expertise pertaining to the feasibility of combining the Metro line 3 and the proposed coastal road, giving a speedy north-south connectivity to the city.

Last month, a two-member team of Dutch experts had visited Mumbai to study how best to execute the Mumbai Metro-cum-Coastal Road, applying their knowledge of international best practices.

As per the feasibility report by the Dutch experts’ team, the recommendation involves a new coastal road meandering along the city coast and touching it where road and Metro connections with the existing infrastructure are required.

BMC Speak
mid-day tried to contact Additional Municipal Commissioner S V R Srinivas, who is in charge of the Roads and Traffic department, but he remained unavailable for comment. Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects) Sanjay Mukherjee, when asked about the delay in the DPR, replied in a single line, “Deadlines given by the chief minister will be met.”

- Inputs by Agencies

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