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Mumbai

Updated on: Thursday, August 26, 2021, 12:31 AM IST

Mumbai: Versova beach wall issue continues to be in a limbo

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Even though the local public representatives and officials from the public works department (PWD) paid a site visit and held a meeting with residents, the Versova beach wall construction issue continues to remain unresolved.

On Wednesday, a delegation of engineers from the PWD, Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar and local corporator Pratima Khopade visited the beach along with local residents and environmentalists. During their visit, they found that a major part of the beach around Sagar Kutir Sangh was filled with tetrapods, while the new wall that is being constructed was almost completed.

PWD engineers said that they have all the necessary permissions to carry out the work, however, according a GR issued by the Maritime Board, the PWD was ordered to stop work in 2020.

Meanwhile, another regulation from the Maharashtra Coastal Zonal Management Authority (MCZMA), has directed the PWD to repair the existing walls and not to construct anything new. However, MCZMA officials were not present for the meeting.

A senior PWD official said, “We couldn’t touch the existing walls as they are private properties. The project has been sanctioned by higher authorities and we have all the documents to carrying out work.”

Earlier, in a letter to state minister Aaditya Thackeray, Versova MLA Bharti Lavekar said the project had been sanctioned by her office to protect the residential walls adjoining the beach, from erosion.

Meanwhile, residents and activists opposing the move said they will move the court if the authorities take longer to resolve the issue.

Dhaval Shah, founding member of Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen's Association, said residents will meet PWD minister Ashok Chavan next week.

“First of all, all agencies and elected representatives need to come on the same page. The members of the MCZMA were absent on Wednesday and MP Kirtikar has assured that he will hold a meeting with them soon. As long as people are willing to solve the issue, we are okay with it. Else, we may move the court,” said Zoru Bhathena.

Dhaval Shah, founding member of Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen's Association, said residents will meet PWD minister Ashok Chavan next week.

“We have sought an appointment from him to discuss the issue. If we are still not satisfied then we may move court,” said Dhaval.

Meanwhile, MP Kirtikar said he will meet MCZMA and MMB officials soon.

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Published on: Thursday, August 26, 2021, 12:31 AM IST
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