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Pumping station not a threat to mangroves, says coastal authority

mumbai Updated: Oct 27, 2014 22:15 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has finally approved the civic body’s proposal to construct a storm water pumping station at Mahul under the storm water drain augmentation project.

Once completed, the project will help solve water logging problems in Kurla, Nehru Nagar in eastern suburbs and Antop hill from island city. The project was approved after the civic body presented the reworked alignment of the pumping station.

MCZMA had in 2013 asked the civic body to rework the alignment of pumping station so that there is minimum damage to mangroves. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had initially proposed to construct the pumping station on a thick patch of mangroves; the plot was under no development zone and was a part of Mahul creek.

The new proposal, which is approved by MCZMA, has reduced mangrove destruction from 100% to 12%. “We have received environmental clearances for the Mahul project since we have reduced the extent of destruction to the mangrove. However, we are awaiting several more approvals, one being from the high court. Since protection of mangroves is one of the issues, the high court order is important,” Laxman Vhatkar, director, engineering (services and projects), BMC, said.

Under the Rs3,535-crore Brimstowad project, the BMC was supposed to construct pumping stations at eight places – Haji Ali, Irla (Juhu), Love Grove and Cleveland Bunder (both at Worli), Britannia (Reay Road), Gajdarbandh (Khardanda), Mogra (Santacruz) and Mahul. Currently, only two pumping stations are operational since 2011 — Haji Ali and Irla.

Pumping station Love Grove and Cleveland Bunder, both at Worli, are under construction and have already exceeded the fifth deadline. The pumping stations are now expected to be operational by May 2015.

This year BMC began construction of both Britannia and Gajdarbandh pumping stations, which were long pending due to lack of environmental clearances.