Replant mangroves, check pollution: Green nod terms for Mumbai coastal road
Replant mangroves that are damaged during construction, develop green belt and fit construction equipment with mufflers and exhaust silencers to minimise sound pollution at the southern phase of the coastal road are some of the conditions laid down by the state’s green authority while approving one phase of the road in Mumbai.
After the ambitious Rs 12,000 crore coastal road project was split in two parts, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has given a go ahead to the southern stretch (Princess street flyover to Bandra) of the road, but not without laying 12 conditions before recommending the southern stretch to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). Meanwhile, civic officials said all the conditions are already taken care of and approval from the MoEF is awaited.
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta, said, “We have got clearance from the MCZMA and now we are awaiting nod from the central government.”
Last month, instead of waiting for clearance for the entire 29.2-km-long stretch — Princess Street flyover to Kandivli — the civic body submitted two separate applications, one for the south and another for the north phase of the coastal road. While approving the road, the MCZMA laid down conditions such as re-plantation of mangroves, to ensure no fishing activity is hampered and that green belt development is implemented as mentioned in the environment management plan.
To further ensure that there is no noise and air pollution, the MCZMA has mandated that all the construction equipment must be fitted with mufflers and exhaust silencers and dust suppression measures must be taken during construction. The civic officials have termed these conditions as doable in comparison to those conditions and recommendations that were laid down in March when the entire proposal was submitted. Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner, said, “These conditions have already been considered during the planning of the project.”
Earlier, the civic body was instructed by MCZMA to plant five times the destructed mangroves, to look at Tram service as an option to Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and keep aside 2% of the project cost for mitigation measures. While plantation of five times the mangroves destructed has been relaxed this time according to the Centre’s notification, there is no condition of Tram services. Also, mitigation funds have been retained.
Further, the authority has refrained from taking any decision on the northern stretch (Bandra to Kandivli) of the road. A senior civic official said, “The south phase which is hardly 10-km-long has no mangroves and only reclamation will be done. But fearing that the project will be stuck in limbo owing to huge environmental damage likely towards the north phase of the project, despite having mitigation measures mentioned in the project report, we are now concentrating only on the South phase.”