The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has given a go-ahead to the 22-km Mumbai trans-harbour link that will connect the island city at Sewri to Nhava on the mainland.
The coastal body has recommended the project to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), which will give the final approval for this long pending infrastructure project.
The nod from the coastal authority is one of the most vital clearances required and comes after the environment nod obtained from the Centre in 2005 expired in 2010. The clearance is subject to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the implementing agency, complying with 12 conditions including submitting a mangroves restoration plan and not reclaiming land even at landing points of the sea link in CRZ area.
MCZMA also gave a clean chit to the project on the issue of migratory birds, pointing out that only four of the 17 species of birds found at the Sewri-end of the mudflats are migratory.
"There are few industries near the mudflats, which generate noise up to 40 to 50db but it does not affect the birds. The construction of this project will not affect habitation of migratory birds permanently.''
"We don't think environment clearance from the ministry will be a hurdle as the alignment of the link has not been changed from the earlier proposal. Conditions like restoration of mangroves are a given in such projects and we have done most of the work on this front,'' said Ashwini Bhide, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.