Mumbai: Coronavirus slows Coastal Road work

Updated: Mar 11, 2020, 07:56 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

Machinery to be brought in from China stuck due to health crisis; work on project had resumed recently after SC's nod

The machinery for the Coastal Road work is expected to arrive between August and October this year. Pic/ Bipin Kokate
The machinery for the Coastal Road work is expected to arrive between August and October this year. Pic/ Bipin Kokate

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has fast-tracked work on its ambitious Coastal Road project, the Coronavirus is now likely to result in delays in its planned schedule. Tunnelling work on the road will now begin only after November 2020 owing to the machinery being stuck in China.

They were supposed to be brought to India through the sea route — tunnel boring machines by April and ancillary equipment by June. The BMC has, therefore, asked contractors to focus on reclamation and piling work for now. The machinery will now arrive in August and October, officials informed.

"There is a delay but given the health crisis situation, we have shown leniency towards the contractors and cannot fine them. Otherwise, the contract has a clause under which we can fine them for the delay," a civic official said.

The civic body has completed six per cent work on the Rs 12,000-crore project since December 2019 and overall, eight per cent of work is completed yet.

The civic body earlier had to face a major delay owing to citizen's opposition to the project on environmental grounds.

The Bombay High Court had ordered work to be stopped on the project but the Supreme Court later gave a green signal to it after which work has been fast-tracked. The project needs about 100 hectares of land reclamation.

Work towards road foundation and blasting under the sea was recently carried out to allow the tunnel boring machine to enter. The chief engineer of Coastal Road, Vijay Nigot, said, "We are not going to keep waiting for the machines to arrive but will be focusing on reclamation and piling work."

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