Changes in CRZ rules led to coastal road plan | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Changes in CRZ rules led to coastal road plan

The new Coastal Regulation Zone rules, which have come into effect, may have made the state government rethink its sea links project and instead build a coastal road to connect the north and south of the city.

mumbai Updated: Feb 11, 2011 01:26 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

The new Coastal Regulation Zone rules, which have come into effect, may have made the state government rethink its sea links project and instead build a coastal road to connect the north and south of the city.

The new rules have considerably eased regulations on building coastal roads by either reclaiming land or building structures on stilts.

Hence, the state government and its transport infrastructure undertaking, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), hope that they can build the coastal road, which is not as costly as building sea links.

“We have sought information from the state environment department and other experts to see if a coastal road is legally and financially viable,” said MSRDC managing director Bipin Shrimali. Once the environment department gives its go-ahead, the MSRDC will ask its consultants, Arup CES, to undertake a study on building the coastal road.

“The proposal [to build a coastal road] is still being evaluated, but who will not favour it if it helps save you crores of rupees?” said Jaydutt Kshirsagar, public works department minister and in-charge of MSRDC.

But there could be two hurdles in the new plan.

Firstly, those living near sea fronts could protest against the plan on the lines of the Peddar Road residents opposing a flyover there.

Secondly, Reliance Infrastructure, which has bagged the rights to build the Worli-Haji Ali sea link, may not agree to build the coastal road and could led to legal problems.

MSRDC officials said they will hold talks with Reliance Infrastructure, but Reliance Infra said it had not received any communication on behalf of the agency, regarding any change of plan. “These reports are about our sea link project are speculative and baseless. Our contract is in place and we do not wish to comment on this,” an official from Reliance Infra said, requesting anonymity. The MSRDC also claimed that the proposal would not cause delay in the actual construction.

“We will ensure that if the project is cleared, it gets competed in 42 months, as was the deadline for the Worli-Haji Ali sea link,” Shrimali said.