Subscription Subscription
Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Dredging threat to Metro line 5

Mumbai: Dredging threat to Metro line 5?

Updated on: 11 August,2023 06:58 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ranjeet Jadhav |

Citizen offers evidence of danger, environmentalists seek strong action against those involved

Mumbai: Dredging threat to Metro line 5?

The picture posted by a citizen Balaji K about the danger to the upcoming bridge and also another bridge carrying the old pipeline

Is the upcoming Metro Orange Line 5 (Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan) bridge and another bridge carrying the old water pipeline under threat due to illegal sand dredging at Kasheli creek? A picture of the illegal sand dredging has been posted on Twitter by a citizen, and environmentalists are demanding action as the unauthorised activity poses a huge threat to the structures.

On August 6 one Balaji K, tagging MMRDA and BMC tweeted, “Illegal sand dredging in Kasheli creek, danger to British era bridge, water supply pipe line from Vaitarna passes through this bridge, any disaster Mumbai water supply will get affected. Danger to Bhiwandi and MMRDA Metro line 5 bridge.” (SIC) The person posted the photo along with the tweet, in which two boats and a couple of people allegedly involved in sand mining are seen. The picture also shows the old bridge water pipeline bridge and the metro 5 bridge (alignment) passing parallelly.

Picture of a sand mining site, with residential towers in the background, at Kharghar, from mid-day’s report on the sand mafia at Taloja creek in 2022. File pic
Picture of a sand mining site, with residential towers in the background, at Kharghar, from mid-day’s report on the sand mafia at Taloja creek in 2022. File pic

The person has also given examples of how some bridges across the world have collapsed due to illegal sand dredging. In the past, mid-day had also highlighted how the illegal sand mining mafia has been using suction pumps/mechanised dredgers in broad daylight at Taloja Creek in Navi Mumbai.

‘A major threat’

Environmentalists fear that if the dredging continues, it will pose a huge threat to the bridges. Nandakumar Pawar of the NGO Sagarshakti said that sand mining activities are real threats to the coastal biodiversity and ecology as a whole. “Illegal sand dredging at Kasheli and the Kalher belt poses a great threat to the heritage structure of Kasheli bridge, constructed during British era. A government notification clearly mentions that any excavation over 3 metres is considered illegal. The creek bed has already been dug beyond 10 metres in depth,” Pawar said.

He also pointed out that the main threats are obviously from suction pumps and mechanised dredging activities carried out at nights in and around Kasheli creek bridge. “The concerned authorities are not able to trace and track the perpetrators. The collector,   Thane, and the revenue department are very aware of ground realities and must work together to control illegal sand dredging activities in this belt. Besides illegal sand mining, there are a number of unchecked illegal activities such as dumping of construction debris on mangroves near Kasheli creek bridge, illegal construction, etc. carried out in the flood plain of Vasai creek bridge at Kasheli and Kalher in broad daylight,” Pawar added.

‘Authorities attempts failed’

Environmentalist Stalin D said, “Illegal sand mining has been quite a menace for many years now and repeated attempts to concerned authorities to get it stopped have failed. The state government machinery is completely helpless and just sitting and watching as the creek is dredged illegally. We are waiting for a big disaster to happen and then some inquiry commission will be set up and those kind of methods are what the government is probably looking forward to. Immediate arrests and destroying all the boats which are seen engaging in illegal sand dreading is the need of the hour.”
MMRDA officials were unavailable for comment.

Metro network gets boost as govt transfers land to MMRDA

The Mumbai Metro project advanced to the next level on Thursday with the state government transferring land required for the car sheds of two lines to the MMRDA in Thane district: Red Lines 7A and 9, which comprise a single stretch, and the planned Orange Line 12. While Line 7A extends the existing Red Line 7 from Gundavli to Mumbai Airport Terminal 2, Line 9 extends Line 7 at the other end, from Dahisar East to Mira Road. The government has handed over advance possession of 59.65 hectares of land at Dongri village in Bhayander West for this line. For Line 12, which is being planned between Kalyan and Taloja, the government has transferred a total of 47 hectares of land at Niljepada in Thane district to the MMRDA.

“The ongoing construction of seven Metro lines, namely Lines 2B, 4, 4A, 5, 6, 7A, and 9, is progressing steadily, with completion expected in the near future. The MMRDA is committed to providing additional and world-class transportation options for the citizens of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Currently, three Metro lines are operational, bringing happiness to millions of Mumbaikars. The integration of Metro depots, such as the ones being established in Thane district, is crucial for the successful implementation and maintenance of these Metro lines,” a senior official said.

“The advance possession land was granted to MMRDA, marking a crucial step in the development of this Metro route. These efforts by the state government have ensured the swift transfer of these lands, saving both costs and time for the completion of these critical infrastructure projects,” the official added.

“Furthermore, MMRDA is actively working on expanding the Metro network, with plans to connect Metro Route 12 (Kalyan-Taloja) and Route 5 (Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan), enabling seamless travel between Thane and Navi Mumbai in a matter of minutes. The integration of the Navi Mumbai Metro with Metro Route 12 is being studied, promising enhanced connectivity for the region,” he added.

Dr Sanjay Mukherjee, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We are grateful for the cooperation of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar for providing both the lands for the Metro projects. At present, all the Metro projects are progressing very fast and with the acquisition of these lands, the works will be completed soon. It is very important for the smooth operation, maintenance and repair of trains. Along with this, with the help of the state government, efforts are being made to transfer all the remaining proposed Metro depots. We are studying the extension of Metro Route 12 and its integration with Navi Mumbai Metro station has been proposed.” 

- Rajendra B. Aklekar

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK