BMC rebuts criticism of coastal road project

FPJ BureauUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2019, 05:12 PM IST
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Mumbai : Reacting to a report published by the citizen’s group, Independent People’s Tribunal (IPT), against the iconic coastal road project on Monday, the MCGM has published a sharp rebuttal to the IPT, asking them for clarifications regarding their assertions and demands about the project.

A citizens group demanded the scrapping of the coastal road project on Monday, calling it anti-people. They released the report following a public hearing from October last year, carrying their contentions about the planning of the project, its impact on the coast, the surrounding environment and on the livelihood of fishermen. Among those who have extended their support to these demands are former municipal commissioners D M Sukthankar and Jamsheed Kanga, and retired Justice Hosbet Suresh.

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Among other prominent personalities who have signed a petition in support of the demands are NEERI scientist Rakesh Kumar, actor and activist Shabana Azmi, journalist Nikhil Wagle, and former secretary of Urban development ministry D T Joseph. A copy of the report will be submitted to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis next week. Speaking at the release of the report, Darryl D’Monte of the IPT said the coastal road and the planning carried out by the civic body around it violated the people’s right to know, as very little information about the coastal road is in the public domain. He said no public hearing for awareness regarding the project has ever been conducted by the civic body, especially for people living along the coast in Mumbai, who will be directly affected by the project.

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However, through an open declaration, the civic body has challenged the group’s contention that no public hearing for the project took place. The civic body’s note reads, “The claim that no public hearing has been taken is false and callous. Public comments have been called for, not once, but three times.” The MCGM has asked that the IPT make public, the findings of their study that has enabled them to make such conclusions of their report. The MCGM has also asked for a disclosure for the public, about the credibility of the experts’ committee that conducted the study.

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