Looks like the Maharashtra government’s ambitious coastal road project has successfully crossed all the barriers. The proposed Nariman Point-Kandivli coastal road that encountered resistance at every turn has received the necessary notification from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest on Wednesday.
The ministry finally gave a green light by issuing a notification, which allows the state to reclaim land for construction of the coastal road. However, it has been specified that the reclaimed land cannot be used for any commercial purposes.
The project is said to be the pet plan of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and has been vehemently pursued by the government, which believes it would go a long way in providing hassle-free travel for Mumbaikars. Expressing his happiness over the final nod on the project, yesterday he announced on Twitter, “Thank you Hon. Modiji and Prakash Javdekar ji for issuing notification allowing construction of Mumbai Coastal Road. It’s a dream come true for Mumbaikars.”
The coastal road was planned to offer respite to commuters from the burgeoning traffic from south Mumbai to western suburbs. The government had also included a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in the plan. The first draft of the scheme was published in June and the deadline to submit suggestions and objections was August 27. The BMC received more than 700 suggestions and objections from citizens, activists and fishermen. The draft notification was published in June and now the final notification has been published. The BMC had already appointed a peer review consultant for the detailed project report.
Rishi Aggarwal, environmentalist
It is unfortunate that the notification has been issued. This project is regressive and hardly meets the mobility need of 5% of Mumbaikars. Hopefully, the CM will see merit in the opposing arguments and not go ahead with it.
Stalin Dayanand, director of projects, NGO Vanashakti
The MoEF has lost its purpose of existence. The CRZ notification has been reduced to a joke. Climate change, sea level rise, air pollution are meaningless terms for Mr Javadekar.
Godfrey Pimenta, convener, Watchdog Foundation
The coastal road would be sheer wastage of public money, amounting to Rs 12,000 crore, which will only benefit miniscule population of one lakh. Instead, the state government should deploy these funds to build robust public transport system, which is the need of the hour benefiting lakhs of citizens.
Rs 12,000 cr
The proposed cost of the project