While heavy rain and gusty winds caused due to cyclonic storm Tauktae that brush passed Mumbai's coastline battered the city with tree falls, wall collapse and waterlogging incidents, BMC claims the under-construction coastal road project did not face any damage. Not a single seawall built for the ambitious coastal road project did not suffer any damage during the storm, the civic officials said.
While the heavy rain and strong winds wreaked destruction on shores across Mumbai and adjoining areas, the coastal project managed to escape it, as work was stopped since Friday. " This was a test for us too. As despite such heavy rain, strong and gusty winds the construction is done, especially the seawall did not face any damage during the storm," said a senior BMC official.
In preparation, the BMC engineers and teams involved in the coastal road project lowered the cranes at all three packages (sites) where construction work for the project is ongoing. Not only this but water pumps kept ready to pump out water in case of flooding on the site."The work was stopped and the site was cleared since Friday when the cyclone alert first came in. As the alert for gusty wind with a speed of more than 100 kmph came in we immediately got the cranes lowered to prevent any accidents or untoward incidents with strong winds breaking or pushing the cranes etc. All other machines involved in the construction too were moved to safer places," said a Dr Vishal Thombare, Executive Engineer, coastal road project.
Thombare added," Teams were available 24/7 to tackle any untoward situation that happened. All possible precautions were taken and the site was cleared. Seawalls too were intact."
The 29.2 km-long coastal road project undertaken by the Shiv Sena-led BMC to connect Marine Drive in south Mumbai to Borivali in north Mumbai with a view to ease traffic woes in Mumbai. The project has been opposed by activists, coastal residents and fishermen citing ecological damage it is likely to cause to the city’s coast.
Started in October 2018, the coastal road project was earlier targeted to be completed by 2022, but it got delayed first due to the litigations and then due to the hundreds of workers leaving for their native places when coronavirus was at its peak.
The project work was stopped after the Bombay High Court in July 2019 quashed the Coastal Road Zone (CRZ) clearances granted to the project. The work resumed in December 2019 after the Supreme Court stayed the HC's order.
However, despite all the hurdles in December 2020, the BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal announced that the civic body is confident that the project will be functional by July 2023.