The Chavan-Ramesh ‘roadshow’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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The Chavan-Ramesh ‘roadshow’

Two months after it floated the idea to scrap sea links in favour of coastal roads on reclaimed land in Mumbai, the state government was forced to backtrack. Zeeshan Shaikh reports.

mumbai Updated: Apr 16, 2011 01:19 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

Two months after it floated the idea to scrap sea links in favour of coastal roads on reclaimed land in Mumbai, the state government was forced to backtrack. Faced with the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ (MoEF’s) reluctance to allow reclamation, the government has decided to stick to the original plan to construct a sea link between Worli and Haji Ali. The sea link would be part of a larger 302-km ring road, named the Garland Freeway, running around the periphery of Mumbai.

The state, through the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), had decided to scrap the sea link and build a coastal road instead. MSRDC had sought clarity from the MoEF on whether it could go ahead with the project, but Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh did not seem to favour it.

The state and the MoEF are setting up a joint committee to study the viability of coastal roads in other areas of Mumbai.

“It will take some time for the committee to submit its report, but we can’t keep infrastructure on hold. We will stick to the old plan of building a sea link from Worli to Haji Ali,” Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Friday.

The government announced the plan for the Garland Freeway, which could include roads on reclaimed land or on stilts, and sea links. However, there are several regulatory and environmental clearances required for the project.

The High-Powered Joint Technical Committee would also study the Garland Freeway to check whether it violates environmental norms and whether coastal roads can be built in other parts of Mumbai.