Raj Bhavan lawn extension plan riles activists
The tender issued by the Presidency division of the Public Works Department (PWD) mentioned that retaining wall has to be reconstructed and extension of the existing lawn towards seaside has to be done at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai, at a cost of ₹24.58 crore
Mumbai: A plan to construct a retaining wall and extension of the lawn at Raj Bhavan in Walkeshwar has evoked protest from environmentalists.
The tender issued by the Presidency division of the Public Works Department (PWD) mentioned that retaining wall has to be reconstructed and extension of the existing lawn towards seaside has to be done at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai, at a cost of ₹24.58 crore.
D Stalin of NGO Vanashakti has written a letter to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), director environment, secretary of union ministry of environment and forest, state environment secretary and state pollution control board saying that the tender mentions extension of the property on the seaward side.
“We had earlier highlighted how the beach at Raj Bhavan was being destroyed by dumping stones and tetrapods. That complaint was not acted upon and now a fresh reclamation is being proposed,’’ the letter read.
“We find it shocking that the head of the state, the Governor himself, is not following the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. We request you to reject the proposal if it has come for the CRZ clearance. The extension may be done on stilts without reclamation of the sea,” Stalin said.
Environmentalist Harish Pandey said, “Why do all governments have to undertake projects which damage the environment. This is not a public project and at least here they must protect environment.’’
Meanwhile, Chandrakant Naik, executive engineer, Presidency division, PWD said, “We are reconstructing the broken retaining wall near the helipad in the lawn. Once the work is completed, the lawn will be automatically extended.”
Raj Bhavan spokesperson said, “There is a gap between the lawn and the retaining wall. The gap will be filled up and the lawn will be extended. We will take the required permissions. We will not reclaim land.”