Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, on Friday, admitted that there was no space left in Mumbai and that reclamation might be the only way out. He expressed a desire to conduct a study on the reclaimed areas of the city, including Nariman Point, Ballard Estate and Bandra reclamation, to see the effect of reclamation on environment.
“There is no space left in Mumbai and it has become necessary to generate new space. But the coastal regulations and environmental laws are so stringent that reclamation remains the only possibility to be studied,” said Chavan after reviewing a presentation made by Dr Waterman, an expert on issues of environment and reclamation. Dr Waterman was one of the first individuals to make plans for the expansion of dunes and beaches along the Dutch coast, using the ‘building with nature’ principle. He is in Mumbai on behalf of Mumbai First. “This is a city that is space-starved, and is facing problems of expanding population; urban planners have been stressing on the need to expand. One of the solutions is reclamation,” said Narinder Nayar, chairman, Mumbai First.
“Waterman explained the benefits and hazards of reclamation, but said that if done properly, it could be of a great benefit to Mumbai.”
Waterman suggested that the government could do a pilot project and study the effects of reclamation. He suggested that harbor areas, or a project like coastal roads could be taken up for the study.