Chetna Yerunkar, Mid Day, July 08 2017
5.4 million cubic metres of muck generated from the Colaba-Seepz Metro line will be used to reclaim land at Mumbai’s southern tip
The BMC’s plan to reclaim land for Mumbai’s ‘Central Park’
For once, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is really attempting to make the best out of waste. The civic body has charted an ambitious plan to build Mumbai’s own 300-acre ‘Central Park’ by reclaiming land in the Arabian Sea between Nariman Point and Cuffe Parade, with muck excavated from the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro III project. It has been earmarked in the revised draft Development Plan (DP) 2034 and civic chief Ajoy Mehta wants to fast track the project.
The proposed plan for the 300-acre ‘Central Park’
The BMC’s plans for developing the ‘Central Park’ by reclaiming the sea at Nariman Point are on the drawing board already, even before the revised draft DP 2034 is approved. In a move to speed up the project, the DP department has written to the Mumbai Metropolitan and Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) informing them about the plan for it.
According to an environment impact assessment report for Metro III, 5.40 million cubic meters of muck is likely to be excavated during construction, and BMC is keen on taking muck from the Metro work, as it will save transportation charges. The initial work for the Metro line has begun across Mumbai with barricades being placed on the middle and sides of the roads.
A civic official said, “As the [Metro] work will take place in south Mumbai, it will be easier for transportation. We have also written to MMRDA informing them about the project, as they are the planning authority in the areas around the 300-acre space, which is reserved for the Central Park. If MMRDA has any objections regarding the project, they should bring it to our notice.”
Studying eco impact
Further, the civic body is paying Rs 21 lakh to a consulting agency for studying the area. A civic official said that the agency has been asked to look the area that needs to be reclaimed, the slum population, if any, and whether or not mangroves will be impacted by the project. However, sources have said that beaches in Dadar and Mahim have suffered due to erosion caused by such reclamations.
Apart from this, the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) surveyed the site on Friday, after which BMC is likely to rope them in for studying the depth of the sea and preparing a detailed impact report, which will be later presented to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone and Management Authority (MCZMA), which will then be forwarded to the Ministry of Environment and Forests for approval under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification.