Is Mumbai’s Coastal Highway definitely worth the losses to livelihood and atmosphere?

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Lately, barricades and bulldozers obscure the view of Mumbai’s Arabian Sea shoreline. Signboards that learn “connecting individuals and locations” watch over development crews which have made good use of the pandemic lockdown to ramp up work on the bold Coastal Highway mission.

The 29-km street will hyperlink Marine Drive within the south to Kandivali within the north. The anticipated profit? Discount in journey time by about 70 p.c within the second most congested metropolis on the planet. Is the meant profit definitely worth the estimated value in public assets, livelihoods, and environmental injury?

The mission contains an eight-lane partly elevated street, a 2.31-km primary bridge, a 13-km interchange bridge, a sea wall, and India’s first undersea tunnel. About 68,000 autos are estimated to ply on the street a method per day. It entails the reclamation of 111 hectares of land from the ocean, a plan lambasted by environmentalists who say the implications of taking from nature could possibly be devastating.

The mission, for higher or worse, will basically alter Mumbai’s iconic shoreline, notably the 10.58-km stretch from Marine Drive to the Worli finish of the Bandra-Worli sea hyperlink, prone to be accomplished by 2023.

The street mission is split into three “packages”. Bundle 1, from Priyadarshini Park to Baroda Palace, and Bundle three, from Princess Road flyover to Priyadarshini Park, are being constructed by Larsen & Toubro; Bundle 2, from Baroda Palace to the Worli finish of the ocean hyperlink, is being put in place by a three way partnership of the Hyundai Growth Company and the Hindustan Development Firm.

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Development work began in 2018, however it wasn’t till nicely into the lockdown – and Rs 12,721 crore, 17 NOCs, a number of court docket battles, a nine-month suspension of labor, and chief ministers from three events later – that the mission lastly gathered tempo.

A lot to the chagrin of environmentalists, citizen teams, and native fisherfolk who’ve had their lives disrupted. Whereas environmental activists imagine the mission will irretrievably hurt the ecology, the fisherfolk worry they received’t be supplied sufficient compensation for the lack of livelihood.

Nonetheless, the state authorities and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Company, unsurprisingly, hail the mission as a gamechanger for the megacity.

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