The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is excited about its plans to reclaim the sea to build a coastal road from Worli to Haji Ali, but has also decided to create a small sea link that will ensure the Haji Ali Dargah remains untouched.
The MSRDC is now planning a 3.3-km coastal road stretching from Priyadarshini building at Worli to Samudra Mahal building at Rajni Patel Chowk near Haji Ali.
To create this six-lane road, the MSRDC is planning to reclaim up to 55-60 metres into the sea. The MSRDC will then create a sea bridge on stilts that will run behind the Haji Ali dargah and end near the Mahalaxmi temple. MSRDC will also construct a rotary dispersal near Haji Ali, which will allow commuters to get on and off the new road at Haji Ali.
“We have concluded that we should go in for a coastal road. But, we still need clearance from the MCZMA to whom we have submitted our proposal,” MSRDC vice chairman and managing director Bipin Shrimali said. The MCZMA may consider this proposal in its March 14 meeting, after which if it finds the project favourable it will forward it to the MoEF at the Centre for the final go-ahead.
MSRDC is also planning to expedite work on connectivity till Nariman Point. It is looking at two options – one is to construct an underground tunnel from Mahalaxmi temple till Wilson College and the other is to build a coastal road up to Priyadarshini Park and construct a tunnel from there to Wilson College. “We will build a coastal road at nearly 30 per cent of the cost of a conventional sea link,” Shrimali said.
The state government, earlier this year, had decided to explore the option of building coastal roads instead of sea links that cost Rs 10,000 cr.
The government has already built the Bandra Worli sea link. It wanted to build three more sea links namely Versova-Bandra, Worli-Haji Ali and Haji Ali-Nariman Point. Reliance Infrastructure won the contract for the Worli-Haji Ali sea link.
The new CRZ rules have eased regulations, allowing building of coastal roads on stilts. Though the construction of roads by reclamation is not permitted, state officials are hoping that MOEF will make an exception for the city as it is seeking minimal reclamation.