BMC to reclaim additional 6.5 hectares of sea for Coastal Road Project

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be undertaking additional reclamation of 6.51 hectares of the sea for its ambitious Coastal Road Project.

The total reclamation requirement for the project was 90 hectares. Earlier in October, the Supreme Court also ordered the civic body to not reclaim the sea beyond 90 hectares.

Confirming the development, a senior executive engineer involved with the project stated, additional reclamation would be required for constructing a sea wall.

"This calculation was not done earlier by contractors. Now we have found out that building a sea wall would be necessary for which the BMC will be needing 6.51 hectares of additional land" the engineer told FPJ.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, the civic body had written to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) for seeking permission of reclaiming an additional 21 hectares of sea. However, the official maintained that it would reclaim only 6.5 hectares and the remaining 14.49 hectares were already there in the form of physical reclamation. The official claimed, till now the BMC has claimed nearly 65 hectares of the sea.

"We have submitted all our exhibits to the court regarding the 14.49 hectares, these portions were already reclaimed but were not detailed in the earlier application to the MCZMA, additionally we will be only reclaiming 6.51 hectares of land" the official added.

The official also stated that there has been a change in the size of the project as it plans to restructure curvatures and ramp positions.

Meanwhile, environmentalists who have been opposing the Coastal Road development stated that the whole project is flawed.

Environmentalist, Debi Goenka stated that the BMC has violated the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance.

"We have pointed out that 4.25 hectares of the sea wall is already illegal. The BMC is violating the CRZ norms and is trying to impose its own muscle power" Goenka told FPJ.

"The road that they are planning to make will require only 20 hectares of land, so what's the point of reclaiming 90 hectares? Also now that they are coming up with new amendments in the middle of the project this clearly states that there is a lack of proper planning" Environment activist, Zoru Bhathena told FPJ.

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