Mumbai

Coastal Road: residents take to the streets

Residents of Breach Candy, Peddar Road and Malabar Hill areas have been raising concerns about the project that goes along their areas.

Residents of Breach Candy, Peddar Road and Malabar Hill areas have been raising concerns about the project that goes along their areas.  

Police call protest ‘unauthorised’, stop residents on way to Priyadarshini Park

Residents of south Mumbai raised concerns over the Coastal Road again on Sunday, claiming reclamation will lead to large-scale flooding. But they were prevented from walking towards Priyadarshini Park on Sunday as the police claimed the protest was unauthorised.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started work on the 9.98-km Coastal Road that will run from Marine Drive to the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli sea link. However, the project is being met with resistance.

Residents of Breach Candy, Peddar Road and Malabar Hill areas have been raising concerns about the project that goes along their areas.

They had held a public meeting last month to express concerns and on Tuesday night, residents alleged that the contractor was dumping debris at night, against the rules. The contractor had to stop work following the resistance.

On Sunday morning, the protesters met at Tata Garden, from where they were supposed to walk towards Priyadarshini Park. They were carrying placards but once on the road, the 100-odd protesters were asked by the police not to do so saying that in south Mumbai, protests can only be held at Azad Maidan.

“We had given an intimation to the police in the matter. We were not raising slogans. We were even willing to put away the signs. Even then, we were not allowed to walk to the park,” said activist Zoru Bhathena, who has been part of the protest.

Local MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha even staged a sit-in, blocking traffic, in support of the protesters. However, the group had to disburse eventually.

The protesters have been demanding why the BMC needs to reclaim the entire stretch between the existing coast and the proposed road.

“The BMC’s own plans are not clear. There are hundreds of documents on the website but each with a different alignment. The original plans were supposed to have an open sea in between. Who changed the plans? This will definitely lead to flooding in the nearby areas,” Mr. Bhathena said.

“Besides, who is to guarantee that the extra reclaimed land will not be used for commercial purposes in the future? We have seen many such cases,” said Suseiben Shah of the Malabar Hill Residents Forum.

Protesters are planning their next step. The fishermen’s association from Worli Koliwada too have been opposing the project, saying the proposed piers and reclamation will adversely affect fishing.

The fisherfolk had also complained that the BMC has taken a no-objection certificate from a fishermen’s association that does not represent them. They have claimed the work will affect ocean currents and drive their catch away. Regular morning walkers at Worli have also raised concerns about the project that will take away a portion of the promenade till a new promenade is built. While a group of fishermen have moved the Bombay High Court in the matter, they have not received any relief yet.

BMC chief engineer, Coastal Road, Mohan Machiwal, refused to comment on the matter. Deputy Commissioner of Police Dnyaneshwar Chavan did not respond to calls and messages.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 10:43:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/coastal-road-residents-take-to-the-streets/article26490020.ece

Next Story