Mumbai: The distance between Mulund and Goregaon is all set to shrink, as the BMC on Monday obtained a clearance from the National Board of Wildlife (NBW) for the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road (GMLR). All that remains pending is the ambitious project’s forest clearance.
The BMC has made a provision of Rs 100 crore for the GMLR in its 2019-20 budget. The GMLR will be the fourth project to connect the western to eastern suburbs after the Santacruz-Chembur, Andheri-Ghatkopar and Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Roads.
This is the only road connecting the two suburbs via a tunnel. According to the BMC blueprint, the GMLR will have six lanes on a 4.7-km-long twin-tunnel road underneath the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), apart from a 1.60-km-long box tunnel in the Film City.
The project got an approval from the Maharashtra State Board of Wildlife in December and eco-sensitive zone clearance from the state. However, a civic official was concerned about the crucial forest clearance. “Forest clearance is one of the most important clearances. Often there have been cases where projects have been stuck due to rejection by the forest department.
The corporation hopes the final clearance is issued as early as possible,” he said. But environmentalists are critical about this development. Zoru Bhathena, an activist and environmentalist, believes the project will do minimum damage to environment, only if the entry point of the tunnels are not in the national park.
“If the tunnel begins from the national park, it will have a terrible impact on the ecology. The corporation should avoid damaging the environment by bringing the entry and exit points on eastern and western highways, outside the national park,” Bathena said.