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Coastal Road permissions: BMC may ask MoEF to relegate powers to state-level authority

Civic officials stated that the process of acquiring permissions every time there is a change in the alignment is a long drawn one and will possibly delay the work by many months.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
August 13, 2016 1:44:05 am
bmc, bmc news, bmc impersonation case, mumbai, mumbai news, mumbai impersonation case, mumbai police, indian express news, mumbai, mumbai news In the current scenario, the BMC will not be able meet the deadline it had set itself, of starting work on the first four tenders of the project by October 1, and is likely to be delayed by several months.

Owing to delays in acquiring permissions for the Coastal Road project from the Ministry of Environmental Affairs, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is mulling the option of approaching the MoEF to relegate their powers to the state level authority to expedite the process of seeking approvals.

In the current scenario, the BMC will not be able meet the deadline it had set itself, of starting work on the first four tenders of the project by October 1, and is likely to be delayed by several months.

Civic officials stated that the process of acquiring permissions every time there is a change in the alignment is a long drawn one and will possibly delay the work by many months.

“The idea is at a preliminary stage but we are planning to request the MoEF to grant an overall approval to the project and then relegate their powers to a state level authority to speed up the process of asking for permissions. We will discuss the issue with the state government before taking any decision,” said the official.

Officials in the Coastal Road project department pointed out that there are multiple phases of the tendering process for the four tenders worth Rs 4,271 crores and in one of the final phases, the contractors will be asked to create their own designs of the stretch they will be bidding for the four tenders from Princess Street flyover till Carter Road.

“We have provided a draft design to the contractors who will submit designs of their own based on their technology which will be approved by the consultant we have appointed,” said the official.

“However, with every change in design, the civic body will have to amend the application and approvals will have to be taken several times which is bound to delay the work,” the official added.

After the first application for approvals, the BMC had introduced changes in expression of interest (EOI) floated in April in which they changed the starting point of the project from Nariman Point named in the original plan to Princess Street flyover which shortened the total length from 33 km to around 29 km.

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) had subsequently made certain recommendations like including a tram, planting five times the number of uprooted mangroves, among others.

Senior officials of BMC had then directly approached the Ministry of Environment and Forests to speed up the process. The MCZMA is yet to forward their report after which the permissions will be granted by the MoEF.

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