The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to appoint the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) to conduct a study on the impact of the coastal road project on wave patterns.
The experts will also study if the road can handle natural disasters like tsunami.
According to sources, the study, which will cost the civic body Rs60 lakh, is expected to be completed in nine months,
The decision came after the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) criticised the civic body for not conducting a proper study on the effect of sea-related disasters on the project, sources said.
The BMC will soon award the contract to the NIO. A civic official said, “The purpose of the study is to understand the hazards of the coastal road project which will involve reclamation and building of undersea tunnels. Extreme wave analysis, storm surge, hydrology, morphological changes and tsunami will be some of the parameters.”
“The study will cover all 33.2 kilometres of the coastal road but it will look more closely at the undersea tunnel (proposed 6km tunnel under Juhu beach) and reclamation as it will have a direct effect on the sea.”
The BMC had planned to do reclamation of about 161 hectares, of which, 91 hectares will be converted into green spaces.
According to sources, the study will also look at the possible changes in the seabed after construction is complete.
The hydrology aspect of the study will help the civic body in understanding the movement, distribution and quality of water.
Along with this, the study of storm surges — a coastal flood or tsunami-like phenomenon of rising water — will give
an idea of what safety plans should be implemented during floods.
However, officials in civic body are raising questions over the delay in the study.
“The BMC is already in process of inviting tenders and suddenly they realised they need to conduct such a study. Ideally, this study should have been done during the preparation of the DPR (Detailed Project Report),” said an official.
“The final design of the alignment for the project will be done after receiving the report of NIO’s study,” said a civic official.
Also, last year, a detailed study report by the NIO on the impact of a century of reclamations in Mumbai had warned projects like the coastal road about the environmental hazards. The study gave the example of Bandra-Worli Sea Link which has caused increased erosion at Dadar beach and has affected wave patterns.
Despite repeated calls, the deputy municipal commissioner (DMC), in-charge of the coastal road project, Rajiv Kuknur, was not available for comment.