Green impact study will delay Mumbai’s Goregaon-Mulund link road by at least one year | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Green impact study will delay Mumbai’s Goregaon-Mulund link road by at least one year

The environment ministry has asked the Mumbai civic body to conduct an environment impact assessment study over not less than 12 months, or three seasons

mumbai Updated: Nov 01, 2017 09:34 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
The alignment of the proposed link road, which is to pass through Sanjay Gandhi National Park (in pic) will provide direct connectivity to the eastern and western areas surrounding the national park.  
The alignment of the proposed link road, which is to pass through Sanjay Gandhi National Park (in pic) will provide direct connectivity to the eastern and western areas surrounding the national park.  (HT FILE )

One of the Mumbai civic body’s most ambitious infrastructure projects — the Rs3,800-crore Goregaon-Mulund Link Road — may take longer than expected.

The Union environment ministry has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to conduct an environment impact assessment study in not less than 12 months, or three seasons. This derails the civic body’s plan to finish the impact assessment study within six months and submit it for approval.

After earlier asking to “clearly establish” the need for the proposed road, as it passes through the ecologically sensitive Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), the ministry’s expert appraisal committee (EAC) issued Terms of Reference (TOR) for environment clearance last week.

The alignment of the proposed GMLR is expected to provide direct connectivity to the eastern and western areas surrounding the SGNP.  

“The entire timeline asked in the ToR has put the project on the back-burner. There is nothing that can be done other than to conduct the study over 12 months, as asked,” said a civic official, on condition of anonymity.

As per the minutes of the meeting, released last week, the panel has asked BMC to study the impact of proposed project on the ecology and general biodiversity above and below ground to be carried in a minimum three seasons and not less than 12 months. The panel has also asked for a mitigation plan for the same to be developed.  

In addition, the panel has asked for a noise and vibration impact study specific to the burrowing fauna and nocturnal fauna in SGNP to be conducted over three seasons. 

The 5.96-km Goregaon-Mulund link road will involve building twin tunnels of three lanes each under the Sanjay Gandhi National Park to connect the Goregaon Film City and Mulund, near Amar Nagar. To implement the project, the BMC will need to use 21.5 hectares of forest land, which would be the area of the tunnel under the national park. The project will also involve cutting down 625 trees. 

The panel has also asked for a detailed traffic studies including traffic forecasting modelling to be carried out for justification of current link road and other link roads.