The Rs 15,000-crore Mumbai coastal road project is all set to become a reality. On Thursday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the mega project has received the final approval from the central government.
Good news! Mumbai #CoastalRoad gets final environmental approval from the Central Govt,”the chief minister said in a tweet, adding, “This coastal road will ease the congestion of western expressway and give a faster and smoother ride to Mumbaikars.”
Fadnavis thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and minister for environment and forests Anil Dave for the approval.
The project promises to ease the travel woes of Mumbaikars along the 29.2-km stretch between Nariman Point in south Mumbai and Kandivali in the western suburbs. The four-lane project will have a total of 10 interchanges along the way. The work for the project, expected to begin later this year, is likely to continue for an estimated 48 months.
The civic body has already allocated Rs 1,000 crore for the project. A senior civic official said, “Despite objections raised by environmentalists and activists, we have got the permission to build the road.”
The project required around two dozen approvals, including that of the Indian Navy, the coast guard and the Maritime Board Mumbai (MMB), but pertinently struggled to get environmental clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority and the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF). Both had reservations over destruction of mangroves to construct the road but finally gave the approvals on certain conditions, which included depositing 2% of the project’s total cost to conserve coastal and marine biodiversity.
As many as 13 companies, including L&T and Reliance Infrastructure and firms from China, Japan, Korea, Dubai and Turkey, have shown interest in constructing the first phase of the coastal road, from Marine Lines to the Worli end of the sea link.
The BMC intends to award contracts for the three zones to different bidders so that work on each can start simultaneously.