A coastal road in the city is a step closer to becoming a reality after the Maharashtra coastal zone management authority (MCZMA) approved reclamation of 160 hectares for the project and recommended the amendment of coastal regulation zone (CRZ) notification, 2011, to facilitate its implementation.
The MCZMA made this suggestion to the union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) in a meeting on June 10 “to decide on the increasing issue of traffic congestion”. The proposed reclaimed area would be almost half the length of Marine Drive.
The coastal authority has based its remarks largely on the recommendations of the joint technical committee, appointed by the state through a government resolution in June 2011. Amendments will be needed in the CRZ notification, 2011, as reclamation is banned in CRZ-I areas.
Several key sections of the coastal road pass through mangroves and CRZ-I areas, forcing the civic body, the project proponent, to consider building the road on stilts or as a sea link.
In its remarks on the joint technical committee’s recommendation, MCZMA said, “A coastal road based on reclamation having an average width of about 100m is a cost-effective option compared to others.”
The state had approved the technical committee’s proposal to use the reclamation option as it reduced the cost of the project by one-sixth, compared to constructing a sea link, and also reduced the construction period.
“We have made the remarks based on the committee’s recommendations. It is up to the MoEF to gauge the impact of reclamation on the local ecology and to make amendments in the CRZ notification to accommodate this project,” said AT Fulmali, member secretary, MCZMA.