It's a Coastal Road for Mumbai - Being Mumbai

It’s a Coastal Road for Mumbai

Work on the Rs 15,000 crore coastal road is likely to boost up soon as the the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has given the final approval for the ambitious project along the western seafront to connect Nariman Point and Kandivali.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted about the approval and thanked Union Minister of State for Environment Anil Dave for it. The work is expected to start around November once the tender process is over. The notification about the clearance will be issued soon, said an official.

An official from the chief minister office said that during a recent visit to Delhi, Fadnavis met Dave regarding pending projects in the state.

The project has been delayed for many years as MoEF had sent the proposal back to the state environment body pointing out several deficiencies in the project, which requires reclamation of land and removal of mangroves. The eight-lane road will be partly landfilled, having bridges and tunnels (near Marine Lines), partly elevated and partly on reclaimed land, with sea wall along its route.

The BMC will build the Nariman Point to Bandra stretch, while the second phase (Bandra end of sea link to Kandivali) is likely to be built by MSRDC.

The project was proposed during the Congress-NCP rule in the state. In 2014, when BJP came to power at the centre and the state, the project was tweaked and fast-tracked. In the BMC elections earlier this year, the Shiv Sena mani festo promised to get all permission for the project.

Now, what’s the coastal road project?

It’s a 35.6-km road from Nariman Point to Kandivli, which runs parallel to the coast. The road will start from Manora Guest House, opposite Mantralaya, and progress through a tunnel between the NCPA and the Air India building. Nearly 8 km will be on reclaimed land. It will also have elevated roads. There will be 18 exit and entry points.

How will it help me?

The minimum average speed on city roads has come down from 18 km per hour to 8 km per hour due to rise in vehicles and congestion on roads. As far as the coastal road is concerned, motorists can drive at 90 km per hour.

What’s the project cost?

Given the route along the coastline, the BMC has two options: to reclaim land from sea or to build road through mangrove patches. The first option will cost Rs8,000 crore, and the second Rs7,000 crore.

Where will the money come from?

The BMC has so far collected Rs3,500 crore as premium recovered as fungible FSI. “We have set a target of Rs2,000 crore in a fiscal. To meet that target, developers will have to undertake a specified number of projects in a year,” a civic official said.

But why did the Cong-led govt choose the Sena-BJP ruled BMC?

Though this is a pet project of chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, he’s willing to cede ground here. The logic is that since the Sena-BMC combine is ruling the Centre as well, clearances will be smooth. Recently, Chavan had met Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar to discuss environmental clearances. The latter appeared positive on putting the project on fast-track.

Does the BMC enjoy any edge over other agencies?

It’s a multi-crore project, requiring huge monetary investment. So, the government thinks the BMC has the resources that no other agency has.

When was the project conceived?

The wheels started rolling when the Chavan cabinet issued a government resolution on June 30, 2011, forming an 11-member joint committee, under the chairmanship of then civic chief Subodh Kumar. The panel consisting of architects, urban planners and experts in oceanography submitted the report to the government on December 29, 2011.

What’s the status now?

Feasibility study is on now. In February this year, the BMC appointed a consultant (a consortium of Stup and Ernst and Young consultants) to carry out a feasibility study with the roads department. The consultant will suggest the best way to carry out the project and also a cost-effective model. The duration for completing the project will be decided when the detailed project report (DPR) is ready, officials said.


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