Goregaon-Mulund link road project: BMC faces impact study setback months after clearance

Updated: Oct 31, 2019, 08:04 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

The National Board for Wildlife had cleared the GMLR proposal in February this year with the condition that the impact study be conducted

One of the most ambitious projects of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) — the Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR) — has hit a roadblock with a report issued by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) asking the civic body to conduct an environment impact study before, in between and after completion of the project. The NBWL had cleared the GMLR proposal in February this year with the condition that the impact study be conducted, but the matter has come to light now. What is further delaying the project is the BMC's plan to modify the original layout, as the connecting road would divide the film city into two parts.

East-west link
As part of the project, the civic body plans to construct two 4.7km-long tunnels under the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) so that they don't affect the forest. But as they would run through an eco-sensitive zone, four main clearances were required — MoEF, wildlife, forest and eco-sensitive zone. The Environment Ministry's expert appraisal committee had asked the BMC to conduct a year-long environment impact assessment study and also a noise and vibration impact study in October 2017. However, in a meeting held on April 12, 2018, the EAC delisted the project by stating that the road was not part of the State National Highway and was just a part of BMC's DP.

The state forest department had already given a green signal. The NBWL also cleared the proposal on February 25 with the condition that the environment impact study be conducted. "The study will take six years. The first basic study will be done for 12 months and then the report will be submitted to the Centre. Work on the road will start a year later. Then there will be a two-year study in between construction and one-year study post completion," said a BMC official.

Study worth Rs 4.05cr
The BMC administration has submitted the proposal to the Standing Committee. The Bombay Natural History Society will conduct the study (worth '4.05 crore), which will be based on the biodiversity, impact on it during the period of construction of tunnels and after vehicular movement starts. Another hurdle that the project would face is the change in plan. Considering that the connecting road would divide the film city, the BMC plans to build another tunnel to connect the GMLR.

Connecting Goregaon and Mulund

. Length — 10 km £Two tunnels — 4.7 km each
. Diametre of the tunnels — 15 metres £Each tunnel will have three lanes
. Tunnels will be constructed 20 metres below the ground.
. Cost – Approx Rs4,000 crore

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