The coastal road project, an ambitious plan to connect Mumbai’s western suburbs with a road running along the coast, may be built in phases — a south phase that may get faster environmental clearances owing to its location; and a trickier north phase, which needs mangrove and coastal land clearances.
The civic body’s plan comes after a yearlong delay in getting clearances from state and central governments to start work on the Rs12,000-crore project. Sources said the civic body wants to split the project this way, instead of waiting for clearances for the entire 29.2-km Princess Street flyover to Kandivli stretch.
The south phase is the stretch between Princess Street flyover near Marine Lines and Carter Road in Bandra. The north phase is from Bandra to Kandivli. Civic sources said with environmental clearances for the north phase likely to take time as construction there will need large tracts of coastal land holding mangroves, the civic body will first focus on the south phase.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has submitted a revised plan to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), and civic chief Ajoy Mehta made a detailed presentation on the project to the MCZMA on Wednesday. A senior civic official present at this meeting said the MCZMA will forward the revised plan of two separate proposals to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) for their clearance. “We have done this to avoid any further delay to the project and to speed up clearances,” the official said, not wishing to be named.
While there has been no approval or suggestions from the MoEFCC after the first draft of the project was submitted last year, the BMC is expecting a nod for the south phase in the coming months.
The south phase doesn’t involve destroying mangroves, and got an in-principal nod from the MCZMA after Wednesday’s presentation, civic sources said. The north phasem however, is likely to cause environmental damage, as the Versova and Malad creek and major mangroves will be harmed. This will be studied thoroughly, civic officials present at the meeting said.