As reported, the Supreme Court has given its approval for Mumbai’s Rs 140 billion coastal road project – which was put on the map to decongest traffic and provide ease of access between the northern and southern parts of the city. The nod comes after the Apex Court stayed a previous verdict issued by the Bombay High Court five months ago that had caused the project to be stalled due to lack of wildlife and environmental clearances.
It has been noted that even though the SC has permitted the project proponent Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and contractor L&T to begin construction work on the project, they are barred from carrying out ancillary development work – water parks and gardens on either side of the coastal road, until further notice. The final hearing will be carried out in April 2020, as per the SC’s directions; thereby giving the contractor around five months to carry out a major chunk of construction work.
Reportedly, objections to the project were seen in the light of the absence of the required clearances – the project is allegedly set to cause irreversible damage to the environment by evading of coastal land that would impede tidal waters and destroy coral deposits.
However, MCGM argued the case in its favour by reiterating the fact that the project was crucial to the city to aid in traffic control. They also stated that the corporation had received the necessary environment clearance under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification of 2011 from the Central Ministry of Environment and Forests on May 11, 2017. It is also reported that the said CRZ clearance has been stated to be stricter than the other lacking ones, by L&T’s counsel.