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After coastal road nod, sea links likely to be scrapped

MSRDC has spent nearly Rs 26 crore on feasibility studies, consultancy fees.

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai |
June 9, 2015 12:57:52 am
MSRDC, Nariman Point, Haji Ali, sea link, flyover, flyover scrap, maharashtra govt, fadnavis govt, CM Devendra fadnavis, mumbai news, city news, local news, maharashtra news, Indian Express At a recent meeting of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ war room, he had said sea links may not be required if the city is going to have a coastal road, a senior state government official said.

Nearly Rs 26 crore, roughly the cost of building a flyover in Mumbai, has been spent on planning three marquee infrastructure projects, which the state government is now likely to scrap after keeping them on the drawing board for almost a decade.

The government is likely to drop the three projects — sea links from Nariman Point to Haji Ali, Haji Ali to Worli and Bandra to Versova — as a conflicting proposal to build connectivity on the same stretch through a coastal road gains momentum. The coastal road project received a boost on Monday with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) agreeing to issue a draft notification to pave the way for a coastal road in Mumbai by June 15.


According to the state economic survey for 2014-15, the loss-making Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC),which was to implement the three sea link projects, has spent Rs 25.92 crore till December 2014 on the projects together costing Rs 8,562 crore.

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Of this, the corporation spent Rs 14.32 crore on the two proposed sea links from Nariman Point to Worli, the construction of which is pegged at Rs 4,143 crore, and another Rs 11.6 crore on the Rs 4,419-crore Bandra-Versova sea link. Anil Diggikar, managing director at MSRDC, said, “We have incurred expenditure on the sea links mostly as payments to consultants for surveys, feasibility studies and preparation of tender documents. But now we have kept the plans for sea links completely on hold with the coastal road project being pushed.”

At a recent meeting of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ war room, he had said sea links may not be required if the city is going to have a coastal road, a senior state government official said.

The string of sea links, including the Bandra-Worli sea link, was originally conceived as the Western Freeway more than a decade ago to accelerate the speed of traffic from south Mumbai to the western suburbs and vice versa, like the Eastern Freeway on the other side.

However, in 2011, then Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan started pushing for a coastal road based on reclamation instead, saying capital-intensive projects like sea links are impractical.

The state conducted a preliminary feasibility study in 2011 to say a 34-km coastal road built on stilts and reclaimed land from Nariman Point to Kandivali was feasible with about 160 hectares of land to be reclaimed from the sea and mangroves. While the Congress pushed for the coastal freeway, the NCP-controlled MSRDC continued to work on the sea links, spending on fresh surveys and pushing for clearances. Officials said the MSRDC kept pushing for the sea links until now as there was uncertainty on whether the coastal freeway would materialise.

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