CIDCO seeks nod to clear 14 hectares of forest cover

Updated: 24 February, 2020 07:28 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Sends a proposal to Union environment ministry for phase II of Nerul-Uran railway line

CIDCO needs forest land in Thane and Raigad districts for the three-km stretch of the line. File pic
CIDCO needs forest land in Thane and Raigad districts for the three-km stretch of the line. File pic

The Nerul-Uran railway line, a project conceptualised more than 20 years ago, may finally see the light of day if the Centre green lights the second phase, which requires 14 hectares of the forest land.

The 12-km stretch of the 27-km line was opened in 2018, but the track for phase II needs to pass through a forest patch, and CIDCO is yet to acquire the plot from the forest department. City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO) sent the proposal for acquiring the forest patch to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) on February 10.

"CIDCO has submitted a proposal to MoEF&CC for diversion of 14.0001 hectares of forest land in Thane and Raigad districts. The plot starting from Shahbaj, to Karave, Targhar and Panvel creek will be diverted and the non-forested land from Ulwe, Vahal , Karkopar and Gavan will be needed for the project," said a Forest Department official on condition of anonymity.

Justifying the need to use the forest land, CIDCO in its proposal said, "The proposed Nerul-Uran railway line will help accelerate the growth of Navi Mumbai by providing direct access between Uran town, Jawaharlal Nehru port and the newly developed areas of Mumbai. It will cater to the passenger traffic demands generated by Jawaharlal Nehru port, port-based industries, ONGC, defence establishment at Uran and other residential, industrial and ware housing complexes in Uran Taluka."

The proposal added that the line "accelerate growth of southern Navi Mumbai. Proposed Targhar station will be sub-urban railway connectivity to the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport".

Central Railway's chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said, "For the three-km stretch of phase II, we will have to acquire forest land and CIDCO is coordinating with the Forest Department for the same."

Although the line is expected to improve the connectivity in the region and solve the commuting woes of Navi Mumbaikars, green activists have been opposed to the idea of clearing the forest patch, arguing that Navi Mumbai and the adjoining areas have been constantly losing their green cover.

27km - Entire length of the proposed Nerul-Uran railway line

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First Published: 24 February, 2020 07:21 IST

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