The civic body’s ambitious plan to beautify Chimbai beach, a one-kilometre stretch between Carter Road and Bandstand in Bandra (West), was proposed two years ago. The project, which proposed to improve the environmental conditions of the area, is in a limbo as concerned agencies have been passing the buck, following which the seafront has now turned into a waste dump yard.
The beautification proposal included linking of Bandstand and Carter Road via Chimbai beach by cleaning the waterfront, improving existing facilities such as fish drying yards, shacks for fishermen to store their nets and other equipment, a place to dock fishing boats and a jetty, among other things.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), the authorities entrusted with the job of completing this project, are instead indulging in mud slinging, blaming each other for the delay. “The state maritime board’s sanction is required for initiating the tender process, and since the board is not responding to repeated applications, the public project is not progressing. The civic body has applied twice, seeking permission from the maritime board, but the department has so far failed to respond. They are neither approving nor rejecting the proposal. It’s just because so many agencies are involved the public project like this is suffering,” said PK Das, the consulting architect appointed by the civic body.
Officials of the maritime board, however, claimed that they had not received any such proposal from the civic body in the last two years. “Chimbai beach proposal never came to our notice. If the civic body had forwarded any such proposal to us, they should send us a reminder and we will do the needful. We never halt any development projects. The civic body with the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (Mhada) had requested for Carter Road sea-front development, which we granted. Similarly, Mhada had applied for Juhu beach development, which was again sanctioned by us.”
Refusing to divulge details of the project, Dushyant Phase, city engineer, BMC, said, “We can’t reveal details of the project, which has not yet taken off for technical reasons. The civic body has shortage of funds, and so instead of investing in the beautification project, priority will be given to the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) project, which is affecting people’s health.”
To this, local councillor Asif Zakaria replied, “BMC has allocated Rs2crore in this financial year for this project. The project has been stalled due to unavailability of no-objection certificate from the maritime board. But as soon as it’s acquired, beautification project replicating fishing village will be developed here.”