Major push for Bandra-Versova Sea Link: MSRDC calls for tenders

Updated: Dec 22, 2016, 10:35 IST | Shashank Rao

It had obtained a clearance from ministry of environment and forests three years ago

The proposed sea link, along Versova beach, is a 10 km-long stretch. File picThe proposed sea link, along Versova beach, is a 10 km-long stretch. File pic

The proposed Bandra-Versova Sea Link (BVSL) has set the ball rolling on gaining a one-up over its alternative, the R10,000-crore coastal road connecting Kandivli with south Mumbai.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) today called for tenders to conduct a third-party audit of mangrove patches that stand to be affected by the R7,500-crore sea link project. It had obtained a clearance from the ministry of environment and forests three years ago to transplant mangroves within a stretch of 10 km, but it isn’t know how many mangroves will be affected.

“The mangrove patches cover a few square meters at the proposed landings of the sea link, but their exact numbers aren’t known. That’s why we are appointing a third party to conduct an inspection. Depending on the report prepared, we will take a call on transplanting mangroves, wherever necessary,” said a senior MSRDC official speaking to mid-day today.

As per the plan, BVSL will cover a distance of 10 km and will have three connectors at Otters Club, the Nana-Nani Park in Versova and Juhu. Mangroves in these locations are likely to be affected.

Sources said that the MSRDC has also taken the consent of the Koli community in Versova and Juhu to erect pillars 900-1,200 metres into the sea. “We will create a navigational span for fishing boats so that their movement isn’t affected,” said the official.

The MSRDC has learnt its lessons from fiascos over the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. During its construction, the fishing communities in Bandra and Worli had claimed that they catch was diminishing owing to the work. The sea link’s alignment then had to be gradually changed.

Both the BVSL and the coastal road plans are in a race to win the CM’s approval.

Will not be of much help: Environmental activists

Environmental activists claim that the BVSL and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) put together will benefit only 2.5 per cent of motorists. Around 1.25 lakh cars were expected to use the BWSL daily; the number stands at 45,000.

Mumbai to run out of water soon?

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