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EAC sets deadline for Mumbai Harbour Link

MMRDA hopes to launch tender process by March

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link project
Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link project

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will have to complete the Rs 11,500 crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Link project in three-and-a-half years from breaking ground.

The Experts’ Appraisal Committee (EAC) attached to the Union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF), while recommending Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for the project, has asked the MMRDA to strictly implement the environment management plan during the commissioning of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link in three-and-a-half years.

The link aims at decongesting Mumbai by improving connectivity between the island city and Navi Mumbai.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Tuesday the tender process would begin in March. He has set a deadline of December 2019 for completion of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link.

The EAC at its meeting on December 23 had deferred the decision to recommend CRZ clearance for the 22-km project with a 16.5-km sea bridge and a 5.5-km viaduct. The committee at the same meeting had asked the MMRDA to revise the environmental management plan with greater emphasis on environment management, disaster management and rehabilitation.

“According to the EAC order, the MMRDA has submitted a revised plan on December 29. The minutes of the EAC meeting are awaited,” MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan told Business Standard.

Another official said the MMRDA would be able to meet the March deadline for the tender process. The Maharashtra government will by the end of January reach financial closure with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which has offered to provide 80 per cent of the project cost as a loan.

The project was accorded environmental clearance on July 19, 2013, based on the recommendations of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority. The EAC observed that since the link was proposed on a viaduct, only areas occupied by piers would be affected. Compensatory mangrove plantation in 30 hectares on the Nhave side is proposed for the loss of 0.1776 hectares of mudflats and mangroves because of the piers.

This apart, the EAC also referred to the ruling by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in October setting aside the CRZ clearance to the project. The NGT had asked the MOEF to consider it afresh, issued directions to the ministry to take decisions independently on merits in eight weeks and kept the CRZ clearance in abeyance for six months.

However, the MMRDA official said the revised plan had provided full details on various steps to ensure environment protection.



FINISHING LINE
  • The Experts' Appraisal Committee (EAC) has asked the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to strictly implement the environment management plan during the commissioning of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link in three-and-a-half years
  • The link aims at decongesting Mumbai by improving connectivity between the island city and Navi Mumbai
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency has offered to provide 80 per cent of the project cost as a loan
  • The project was accorded environmental clearance on July 19, 2013, based on the recommendations of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority

First Published: Fri, January 15 2016. 00:25 IST
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