Posted 27 August 2011, by Rinkita Gurav, MiD DAY Infomedia Ltd, mid-day.com
Concerns arise that reclaiming land for the 300-km coastal road projects around city, along the lines of Qingdao in China, may push up water level off Vasai-Virar
The civic body’s plan of building a 300-km network of coastal roads around the city may have been fuelled by enthusiasm after Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar’s visit to a coastal city in China, but concerns over a possible rise in sea level have somewhat dampened the ambitious project.
In a meeting of the 11-member panel headed by Kumar on August 20, where it was proposed to have roads with gardens, jogging and cycling tracks along their length, the way it is in Qingdao, some panel members also expressed concern over the rise in water level in the Vasai-Virar area due to the project.
A senior BMC official, on condition of anonymity, said, “Two of the 11 members raised concerns that the project may result in a rise in the sea level.
They informed the commissioner of environmental problems that could arise due to the project, wherein coastal roads are supposed to be built on silt. Also, the raw material required to reclaim land from the sea in certain parts is a problem.”
For such a massive project, nearly 50,000 tonnes of soil would be required for reclamation, he said. But another official opined where the soil could be sourced.
“Nearly 55,000 tonnes of soil would be excavated from the proposed metro rail from Charkop to Bhayander and it may be used to reclaim land for the road project,” he said. The cost will be decided after a concrete plan has emerged, said the official.
MiD DAY had earlier reported (‘City’s coastal roads to resemble Qingdao’, May 25) about Kumar’s visit to Qingdao in China, and how the coastal roads there had impressed him. He had said, “We would be incorporating ideas and styles used in various cities in the world.”
After the meeting, Kumar said, “The discussions are in a nascent stage. Nothing has been finalised and ideas are welcome. But we will carry out work without affecting the environment.”
BMC’s standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale said, “While we have complete faith in Kumar’s vision and execution, we are concerned about the funding of the project. There are already some roads on the city’s western coast and this would add more beauty besides reducing traffic in the city.”
Another Sea Link?
In the meeting, members discussed having a sea link from Juhu to Malad, which would be connected to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, along with coastal roads between Malad and Nariman Point. The Worli end of the sea-link could be further extended to the Mahalaxmi temple, ending in a sea link from Mahalaxmi to Marine Lines.