The ambitious coastal road project has received 17 no objection certificates (NOCs) from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Coastguard, Indian Navy, Pubblic Works Department and Maharashtra Maritime Board too have handed over their consent for the project. But, the main clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) is still awaited.
Even though these permissions were taken in advance to avoid any delay in the project, the MoEF finding basic flaws in the project report is likely to act as a roadblock in timely execution. For instance, reports like tidal study, geo-technical survey and the peer review report of the DPR are still in the draft stage. MoEF had pointed out several deficiencies in the BMC’s plan in July, including lack of a disaster study, approvals of state pollution control board and the Centre.
However, civic officials said a meeting of government authorities took place in Delhi with the union environment minister Anil Dave, where chief minister Devendra Fadnavis pushed for approval of coastal road and Malad sewage treatment plant late last week. One of the senior civic officials said, “We have received almost all the NOCs required for the project but the important green approval is yet pending. As the discussions with the Ministry took place recently, we are hoping for a positive response.”
To fast track the project, BMC had written last year to around 17 departments about shifting various utilities such as storm water drains, sewage department, hydraulic department, BMC traffic department among others. It had also written to other government agencies such as Coast guard, Navy, Maharashtra Maritime Board for their NOCs as the road will be along the coast.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) were also notified about the project, for better connectivity of roads. One of the civic officials said, “The MMRDA was intimated about the project so that they are aware of the plan and if they want us to leave an arm of the coastal road for connectivity with the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link project. This, however, was a coordination process and not an application for NOC.”
The civic body, earlier this week, also gave a detailed presentation to the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee, seeking their approval for the project. Sources revealed that even if the panel gives negative remarks, the civic chief Ajoy Mehta, being the chairman of the Tree Authority committee, can give approval for the project.
The Mumbai Traffic department also has been informed about the changes to the alignment of the coastal road however; the permissions will be taken in phases immediately after the tenders are awarded.