It is selfish urbanisation
Topic of the week: The state is considering reclaiming land from the sea to add some much-needed development space to Mumbai, but environmentalists have raised valid concerns about the impact of such a project. What’s your stand?mumbai Updated: Aug 08, 2010 01:00 IST
With the suggestion of a Singapore firm, our government has got a chance to implement its wild dream of reclaiming more land from the sea. The plan is nothing short of disastrous.
Initially, it sounds great, but eventually it will cause infinite hurdles and have negative repercussions. It is a step towards selfish urbanisation without recourse to adequate resources already available to us.
We must appreciate the concept of sustainable development, keeping in mind global warming.
The ideal solution would be to utilise to the fullest the available capacity of the land; avoid land wastage; come up with measures to curb land pollution and promote a green environment.
Manan Jayesh Vora
The sea feeds people, the govt does not
The environmentalist are correct in their fight because they are trying to protect the livelihood of 10 million people who depend directly on the coastal ecosystem, as well as the ‘domino dependence’ of nearly 60 million people.
It is the sea that is feeding these people, not the government.
If the government really wants development space in coastal areas, they should make well use of the slum areas. We are a part of the environment, not apart from the environment.
Pasan Sanat Choksi
Reclaim land, but with expert help
We live in a progressive state and require more space for our development. If space is not available, we have to create new space by reclaiming land from the sea.
If environmentalists have raised objections, they have to be considered seriously and necessary steps must be taken to address the issues.
The environmentalists have to co-operate with the state government to complete the project.
Mumbai is not Singapore
After the government had reclaimed large amounts of land in the 1960s, the court had put an end to it. Now, unfortunately, a similar scheme has been proposed by a Singapore-based firm.
Although, Singapore has reclaimed land on which towering buildings have been erected, the same plan cannot hold good for Mumbai, which is an island. The plan has to be rejected outright, on the basis of the coastal regulation rules.
Environmentalists have every right to oppose the project.
There is enough land around Mumbai
The Maharashtra government is blindly aping a Singapore model. Land reclamation from the sea at Nariman Point has just resulted in skyscrapers. Before embarking on reclamation of more land, the government should first define development.
We have plenty of space in and around Mumbai. Regions such as Badlapur, till Karjat on the central side and areas beyond Virar could be taken up for development, providing cheaper housing for the middle class and the lower middle class, and setting up hospitals, educational institutions and industries.
The builders’ lobby seems to be pressuring the government to go ahead with it.
Coastal rules are meant to be followed
Reclaiming land from the sea is nothing short of snatching away marine life. The cost we will have to pay is enormous.
Scientifically, it has been proven that reclaiming land causes land elsewhere to be submerged. The city can expand over land instead of the sea. The imbalance such a move will cause could be disturbing. Land such as mudflats that attract migratory birds will become history.
The Coastal Regulatory Zone rules are supposed to be followed, else their purpose is defeated.
State, eco experts must work together
The concern of environmentalists is definitely valid, but reclamation of land from the sea is for much-needed development. So, here, necessity is at loggerheads with the environment.
Environmentalists will surely be able to invent a solution so that development does not turn into a serious evil.
This is a problem that has to be sorted out jointly by the environmentalists and the city planners.
Every development project has some hiccups, but science has progressed so much that it is capable of taking care of them.