The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has asked the mangrove conservation cell to clear the affected mangroves in order to begin the Thane Creek Bridge-III (TCB) construction work, said an official. "Only after the site is cleaned the work can be initiated by the appointed contractors. The mangroves cannot be cut/transplanted by the MSRDC or the contractor," asserted the official.
Reportedly, around 430 mangroves are being affected due to the proposed project. The MSRDC has recently allotted 1.4 hectare of land in Erangal at Malad Island for carrying out the afforestation. The state government handed over the land to MSRDC for the bridge at free of cost. Besides this, it has also paid Rs 15 crore to the mangrove cell for the conservation of mangroves and flamingo sanctuary.
Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) will undertake the bridge construction work at a total cost of Rs 775.58crore. Interestingly, the contractor was supposed to begin the work in September 2018 as projected but due to necessary permission to cut mangroves and trees coming in the alignment of the bridge, the project was delayed by two years.
This new TCB-III bridge will provide six more lanes to the existing TCB-II. The existing TCB-I and II were built in 1973 and 1997 respectively and now with the rising vehicular movement and upcoming Navi Mumbai international airport, this new bridge has been proposed to ensure smooth traffic movement and provide smooth connectivity between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.