‘Clearance of ambitious coastal road project remains a priority’, says Ajoy Mehta

Staff ReporterUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 12:56 PM IST
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Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai Ajoy Mehta during his visit to the Free Press Journal’s offices recently, touched upon coastal road project in mumbai.

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation that has been pushing for a quick environmental clearance for its ambitious coastal road project has suffered a blow after the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) recently sent back its proposal citing lack of proper clearances.

In a letter date July 22, the MoEF has objected that the proposal, which has been approved by the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), does not have the required clearances. According to senior government officials, the proposal lacks a disaster management plan; there is no approval from the state and central pollution control boards, environment impact assessment is missing.

Also Read: BMC rebuts criticism of coastal road project

The MoEF has also asked BMC to prepare a standard operating procedure for the project’s implementation during construction and operation, prepare a disaster management plan and consult the National Institute of Oceanography as the project is likely to have an impact on the coastal communities wherever there is reclamation. The BMC has also been asked to prepare Coastal Regulation Zone maps showing high-tide and low-tide lines

Senior state government official said, “It is as good as going back to the drawing board. The basic requirements were not fulfilled by the BMC so they have to resubmit the proposal to MCZMA with all the requisite studies and plans.”

The 12,000-crore project is touted to change the way Mumbaikars commute. The coastal road will connect South Mumbai to Western suburbs with a combination of tunnel, bridge, reclaimed road and sea-links.

Also Read: BMC Commissioner for tightening the noose on Road scam accused

“When it was submitted to the MCZMA all these documents were attached as there is a template for such approvals and we have followed it. We found out that MCZMA has sent our proposal to the ministry without these documents. We are giving them a second copy of the documents soon,” confirmed Ajoy Mehta, BMC Commissioner.

A senior BMC official said that MCZMA gave its approval with three conditions, which are highly objectionable. “MCZMA gave us the permission with three conditions which were highly objectionable. They asked us to consider a tram service and a cycling track. It’s a high speed road; we cannot have a cycling track. They also asked us to plant five times the mangroves. We’ll do as the law says, which is three times,” said the official.

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