Mumbai

Coastal Road a must as only 11% of city is under roads: BMC chief

Big budget: The ₹15,000-crore Coastal Road project, which is being executed by the BMC, will run from Marine Drive to the Worli-end of Bandra-Worli Sea Link.

Big budget: The ₹15,000-crore Coastal Road project, which is being executed by the BMC, will run from Marine Drive to the Worli-end of Bandra-Worli Sea Link.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

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Pardeshi says blind opposition absurd as project will help check rise in sea levels

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said on Wednesday the Coastal Road project is necessary as only 11% of Mumbai’s area is under roads. He also said reclamation would protect the city against rising sea levels and there was blind opposition to the project.

The ₹15,000-crore Coastal Road project being executed by the BMC will run from Marine Drive to the Worli-end of Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The project met with stiff opposition and was challenged in court. The Supreme Court has currently stayed the work and the BMC claims it is suffering losses of ₹4 crore to ₹5 crore per day.

‘Slums reducing space’

Speaking at an event, Mr. Pardeshi said, “Mumbai’s total area of occupancy is 475.47 sq km. The developable area is 29.9% — 142.57 sq km — while the area which can not be developed is 70.01%, which is 332.89 sq km. We live in 29% and all our development plans sit on only 142.57 sq km. Two-thirds of Mumbai’s geography is constituted by mangroves and other wilderness, which is not a known fact.”

Mr. Pardeshi said Mumbai has less space owing to slums. “The reason we have so many people in slums is because we do not invest in buildings like in New York. They have such a well-balanced layout because they cut down on private open spaces, which in India is difficult because a majority will have a problem with their personal space going away.”

The BMC Commissioner said the Coastal Road project is the only public space which will cut across the streets of Mumbai. He said Dubai, Singapore and Netherlands have expanded into the open ocean as much as their original landmass. “If all these countries are filling up the ocean then what is happening to the water? So by being the coastal landfill we are enhancing climate change, which can only be curbed by mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.”

Mr. Pardeshi said blind opposition to the project is absurd because coastal roads help in checking the rise in sea levels. He said, “If people living around coastal roads feel that their sea view is disrupted, it is not as important as the need for coastal roads and the problems they solve. The Supreme Court will look into the project of building roads like it did with the Narmada project, but the members of the BMC have to decide on working on building them and maintaining them in unison, only then can it work.”

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 3:40:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/coastal-road-a-must-as-only-11-of-city-is-under-roads-bmc-chief/article30100928.ece

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