Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may have to take the final call on whether Mumbai should be allowed to reclaim the sea in order to build infrastructure projects.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which has come under increasing flak from the public for delays in infrastructure projects like the sea link, has decided to approach the PM to allow amendment of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, so that a coastal road can be constructed after reclaiming the sea.
The prime minister is scheduled to visit Mumbai on October 1, and MSRDC officials are preparing a draft note for him.
The idea of a road running along the city’s coast was first mooted in 1963 by a consultant, Wilbur Smith. However, 48 years later, all the city has got is a sea link from Bandra to Worli.
The state government, through the MSRDC, is now planning to use the coast to improve connectivity. However, MSRDC is still not clear about whether it should construct sea links, which are expensive, or go in for the cheaper option of reclaiming the sea to build coastal roads.
A coastal road, based on reclamation, is currently not permissible under the prevailing CRZ rules, 2011.