Mumbai: Virar-Dahanu railway project soon to be quadrupled

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has decided to recommend to the environment ministry from the CRZ point of view the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation’s (MRVC) proposal for the quadrupling of Virar Dahanu railway project under Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) phase III.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Saturday, December 03, 2022, 09:40 AM IST
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Mumbai: The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has decided to recommend to the environment ministry from the CRZ point of view the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation’s (MRVC) proposal for quadrupling of Virar Dahanu railway project under Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) phase III.

The proposed corridor is planned on the west side and parallel to the existing line. However, MCZMA has laid down 10 conditions that will have to be complied with during project development. MCZMA took this decision at its meeting held on November 10 though its minutes were released on November 30. 

MRVC has submitted that there will be a saving of about 1 hour daily in travel time of 5 lakh passengers and the corridor will serve the requirement of about 2 million population in the section from Virar to Dahanu Road in Palghar district. However, MCZMA stressed the need to strike a balance between the development and environment.

‘’The project proponent (PP) needs to exercise extra caution with the objective to have less impact on the surrounding mangroves and coastal ecology. During the construction phase, all possible efforts/measures should be taken to maintain the coastal ecology and biodiversity.  Necessary training/awareness should be imparted to contractors and workers so that adequate environmental safeguards could be implemented on site during project execution,’’ said the MCZMA.

Further, MCZMA directed that PP should obtain prior high court permission as per its order dated September 17, 2018 since the project involves cutting of mangroves. Further, PP should seek no objection certificate from Mangrove Cell and carry out compensatory mangrove plantation with its consultation. PP will have to obtain the prior Forest Clearance under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

According to MCZMA, PP will ensure that noise and vibration level is within permissible limit during the construction phase of the project and it will also strictly ensure that activities of local fishermen communities would not be hampered.

MCZMA has said that PP should implement the Environment Management Plan (EMP)  effectively and efficiently during construction and operational phases to ensure that the coastal environment is protected. There should be a third party monitoring/audit of all such management initiatives by government agencies during and after completion of project from time to time.

Moreover, PP shall set up a full fledged in-house Environment Management Cell for effective implementation of the EMP including mangrove replantation plan, monitoring and Disaster Management Plan. No labour camps are allowed in CRZ area and it should also be ensured that the waste water from these entities should not be released into the sea. Mobile toilets with mobile sewage treatment plants will be provided in the work front area.

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