Mumbai: Bandra residents protest concrete mixing site for VBSL

Bandra residents are up in arms over ready mix concrete (RMC) plants in a purely residential area. The Bandra Reclamation Area Volunteers' Organisation (BRAVO) have shot off a strongly-worded letter to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) objecting to these plants which have been erected in the yard bang opposite the MSRDC's office.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Sunday, January 01, 2023, 11:10 PM IST
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Mumbai: Bandra residents are up in arms over ready mix concrete (RMC) plants in a purely residential area. The Bandra Reclamation Area Volunteers' Organisation (BRAVO) have shot off a strongly-worded letter to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) objecting to these plants which have been erected in the yard bang opposite the MSRDC's office.

Talking to The FPJ, BRAVO Chairperson Vidya Vaidya said, “Earlier these plants were installed by J Kumar construction company and they used to cause extensive pollution. We protested then also, but in vain. Now these RMC plants are being used by APCO construction company to supply material for the Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project. The authorities have permitted these plants despite the high level of air pollution (in the area) which is worse than in New Delhi,” she added.

BRAVO has approached local MLA Ashish Shelar, who is also the BJP city president, and he has promised his full support. Mr Shelar said that he will take up the matter with the MSRDC on top priority. In fact, the residents wanted the suburban collector Nidhi Chaudhary to stay the construction of the Rs16,500 crore VBSL project till the pollution issue is sorted out.

However, Ms Chaudhary told The FPJ that she cannot stay the mega project. “We don't obstruct development. That is not in our DNA,” she added.

The project is already several years late with the Anil Ambani group, which was originally awarded the contract, washing its hands off it. The work has now been allotted to the APCO Infrastructure Pvt Ltd of Uttar Pradesh. In February 2019, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority had approved a casting yard at Juhu beach. But following a legal challenge from noted environmentalist Zoru Bathena the decision was cancelled.

Now the casting yard is located opposite MSRDC's office at Bandra Reclamation and even here it is facing stiff opposition from local residents. Indications are that the residents may move the Bombay High Court if the issue isn't resolved. An official of APCO Infrastructure declined to comment.

The authorities have permitted these plants despite the high level of air pollution (in the area) which is worse than in New Delhi.

Vidya Vaidya, BRAVO Chairperson

We cannot stay the mega project. We don't obstruct development. That is not in our DNA.

Nidhi Chaudhary, Suburban Collector

Will take up the matter with the MSRDC on top priority.

Ashish Shelar, MLA  

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