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‘Coastal road is more relevant and necessary than ever for Mumbai’

Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner (projects) says the multi-modal project will ease the city’s traffic woes

mumbai Updated: Apr 20, 2018 12:09 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai news,BMC
Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner(Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

Even as activists, traffic experts, environmentalists have raised objections over the need to build the 29.2-km Coastal Road, along Mumbai’s west coast, Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner (projects), says the mega project is as relevant to the city as it was 10 years ago. In a conversation with Sanjana Bhalerao, Mukherjee says the multi-modal project will ease the city’s traffic woes

There is an argument that building more roads won’t reduce traffic, but prompt more people to use private vehicles. How will the Coastal Road solve the city’s traffic congestion problem?

It is not true that with more roads, the buying capacity of citizens will suddenly increase and suddenly more people will buy cars. With the Coastal Road, we will be providing a high-quality road for commute. The Coastal Road is more relevant and necessary now. Mumbai is the financial capital and we are facing serious competition from other metros when it comes to infrastructure. It is not true that it will promote private vehicles. The BMC has plans for a BRTS, a cycling track, pedestrian underpass every 500m, parking facilities, open/recreating spaces as part of the project. It is opening up the entire west coast seafront for citizens, similar to Marine Drive and Worli Sea Face.

Why is the BMC concentrating only on phase 1 of the coastal road? Will it not result into a half-baked solution to the city’s traffic problem?

Phase one will provide relief to motorists and decongest roads. It is not designed as a by-pass road; it has three interchanges, which is reformative. Other than the clearance issue, we should not forget that this project is huge and being attempted for the first time in the country. It is a combination of tunnels, reclamation, bridges, BRTS, underpass, cycling track – all in one project. Completion of phase one will give us confidence.

Why is the BMC not keen to take up the project beyond Bandra – phase 2(Bandra to Kandivli)?

That is not true. BMC has many infrastructure projects under its ambit and all of them are in the final stages of approval – Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR), seven Mumbai Sewerage Disposal projects, and waste management projects at Deonar and Mulund, among others. It is good that the work is being shared by other agencies for the city’s improvement and development.

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 12:09 IST