Maharashtra govt may reclaim land for coastal road with help from Dutch

  • Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 06, 2015 23:13 IST

Mumbai might see considerable reclamation of land, with some help from the Dutch government. Signaling his government’s intent to reclaim land off the city’s western shore, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced plans to integrate the coastal road and the Metro rail project.

Sharing the stage with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is on an official visit to Mumbai, Fadnavis asked for Dutch expertise on reclaiming land and creating infrastructure on it.

The detailed project report for the coastal road had proposed reclaiming over 100 hectares of land. But with the government’s openness to reclamation along with the project’s integration with the Metro rail, the area may go up considerably.

More than the announcement itself, Fadnavis’ stance on reclamation indicates the government’s willingness to use it as a measure to add more land mass to the city. Land reclamation, for decades, has been a subject of controversy in the city and has been shunned, even in policy-level deliberations.

Sources close to the development indicated such openness to the idea of reclamation may mean the city could see more land being reclaimed in the future.

According to a presentation made by Dutch authorities, the Metro 3 rail line will run on the coastal road, with its stations connected to the shore by moving walkways.

Both leaders promised the two governments will work together to ensure an “innovative” cooperation in creating infrastructure for the city.

When asked if this meant an in-principle approval to the idea of reclamation, Fadnavis said, “Mumbai has reached where it has today only because it was reclaimed in the past, while the city was seven islands. Incidentally, even back then, it was the Dutch who carried out this reclamation and made Mumbai one contiguous land mass.”

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