Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the Centre has given an in-principle nod to amend the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2011, to allow the construction of a 35.6-km coastal road in Mumbai, linking Nariman Point to Kandivli.
He also said work on the statue of Maratha warrior king Shivaji in the Arabian sea, off the city’s coast, will be launched on February 19.
“Union environment minister [Prakash Javdekar] has given an in-principle approval to amend the 2011 notification,” Fadnavis said, in reply to a debate in the state Assembly on the governor’s address.
The coastal road project, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s pet initiative, requires reclamation of land off the coast and has been stuck because the CRZ notification does not allow this.
The state government’s proposal seeking amendment in the 2011 notification to exempt the project from regulations has been pending with the Centre for two years. “The previous government could not get an approval from the Centre. The environment minister has now given us an in-principle nod. This will allow us to begin construction after the notification is amended [by the Union ministry of environment],” Fadnavis said.
The coastal road is proposed to be built by the BMC, which is preparing a project report for the same.
Fadnavis said the project will help decongest Mumbai. “60% of Mumbai’s vehicular traffic is on the Western Express Highway and the suburbs. The coastal road will help decongest these areas,” said Fadnavis.
The chief minister defended his move to request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to head a high-powered committee at the Centre to fast-track the city’s infrastructure projects. “India ranks 80 in terms of business-friendly countries of which Mumbai is a large part. Unless the city is improved, India’s business-friendly image won’t improve. The success of the Make In India initiative depends on how fast we improve the financial capital,” said Fadnavis. “Most infrastructure projects meant to improve Mumbai are stuck with different central ministries. If the PM himself heads a committee to fast-track these projects, permissions will come easily,” he added.
The Mumbai trans-harbour link (Sewri-Nhava sealink) project has been stuck for 30 years because of the different permissions required from the central government, he pointed out.
Fadnavis also said a number of infrastructure projects were being kick-started. The work on Mumbai Metro 3, connecting Colaba with Seepz through an underground route, is expected to start in 2015, he said.
He also said the state government had obtained the clearances required to build the Shivaji statue.