Boost for coastal road for Mumbai as Centre to amend laws for reclamation

  • Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 09, 2015 15:29 IST

The coast is clear for the state to build a 35.6-km-long road that will help decongest Mumbai. The Centre on Monday gave its nod to the coastal road by agreeing to allow reclamation of land on the city’s west coast for the project and issue an amendment to the existing laws.

The ambitious Rs 10,000-crore project has been stuck because of the required green clearance for the past four years. The coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) notification 2011 does not allow reclamation of land in sensitive and restricted coastal zones except for certain projects related to defence, building of jetties and harbours.

The decision was taken following a meeting held in New Delhi between environment minister Prakash Javadekar and CM Devendra Fadnavis and senior officials from the state and Centre. MUMBAI: The civic body’s monsoon preparedness claims will go down t he drain this year. Hindustan Times, in its annual audit to check if the city is ready for rain, found the situation to be worse than last year. A panel, which included former state chief secretary V Ranganathan, a civil engineering professor from IITIn a 4-part series, HT presents its ratings and suggestions for improvements.

"The coastal road is one of the most important projects for the city that can help decongest it, create 91 hectares of open space and transform Mumbai. The Centre has now cleared the project. It was agreed that a draft notification to amend the existing law would be issued by June 15 and a final notification by August 15,’’ said Fadnavis.

While Javadekar had given an in-principal approval to the project, senior officials were not keen on making an exception for Mumbai, especially because of its strong real estate lobby. At the meeting, it was agreed that the clearance for the coastal road would be conditional. The two conditions put forth by the ministry and accepted by the state include barring any kind of commercial activity or construction on the reclaimed land and maintaining the existing high tide line, said sources.

Under the existing law, at sea fronts, construction at least up to 500m from the high tide line is barred. “The amendment will clearly state these conditions so that the high tide line remains sacrosanct and restrictions on construction along the coast will remain intact even after the coastal road is built. No construction will be allowed on this land and it will be used to create green spaces, parks, walkways and cycle tracks,’’ said a senior official, on condition of anonymity. The sixlane road, which will run from Nariman Point to Kandivili, will have two lanes reserved for a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS). The state government is still considering the option of building a Metro track along the coastal road. The project will be funded through a Public-Private-Partnership (P-PP) route with the chief minister promising the road will be built in three years.

“While the Detailed Project Report for the coastal road and feasibility studies are ready, there could be changes to the project. However, any reclamation of land will be done solely for building of the road and creating green spaces,’’ said another official.

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