Flyovers to unclog Bandra: Bombay high court nod to raze 14 mangrove trees
The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday allowed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to remove 14 mangrove trees along the western express highway in Bandra, paving the way for the construction of two separate arms that will connect the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) to the proposed Kalanagar Flyover.
The Kalanagar junction at Bandra sees more than 12,000 vehicles every hour and the proposed structure would enable motorists from Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Sion to access the BWSL directly.
The MMRDA had approached the HC seeking permission in February to remove the mangroves. A September 2018 court order prohibits destruction of mangroves unless the HC finds it necessary for public good or in public interest.
The MMRDA already had the necessary permissions from the ministry of environment and forests, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority and the state forest department.
On Tuesday, a division bench of justices BR Gavai and SK Shinde allowed the MMRDA to remove 14 mangrove trees spread over 0.04 hectares on the condition that MMRDA will plant 140 mangrove trees as compensation in an area identified by the mangroves cell of the forest department.
The area will be identified within four weeks. According to the state mangrove cell, the survival rate of mangrove saplings planted in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region between 2012 and 2016 is 38%.
The project to decongest the Kalanagar junction at Bandra includes the construction of a 900-metre long flyover connecting Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) to the BWSL, and another 450-metre long flyover connecting Sion T-Junction at Dharavi to the BWSL. The flyovers are expected to be completed by June 2019.
One arm (see graphic) of the proposed flyover, coming from the BWSL, will be on the northern side of the western express highway (WEH) and provide free flow of traffic from the BWSL to BKC, through Mahim Causeway.
The proposed length of the alignment is 830 metres.
Mangroves will have to be removed for the other arm of the flyover, which will be 760 metres long and connect BKC to the BWSL, passing through government land near Nandadeep Garden, Kalanagar.
A free left turn starting from Sion Bandra Link Road is also proposed on stilts, which will connect to one arm of the flyover and provide easy access to the BWSL.