Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Mumbai’s Coastal Road Project


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Mumbai’s Coastal Road Project, EIA

Mains level : Urbanization at the cost of environment

The Supreme Court stayed a Bombay High Court order that had quashed Coastal Regulation Zone clearance granted to the southern part of Mumbai’s coastal road project.

Mumbai’s Coastal Road project

  • The Coastal Road is an under-construction 8-lane, 29.2-km long freeway that would run along Mumbai’s western coastline connecting Marine Lines in the south to Kandivali in the north.
  • The Coastal Road is projected to be used by 130,000 vehicles daily and is expected to reduce travel time between South Mumbai and the Western Suburbs from 2 hours to 40 minutes.
  • The estimated cost of the project is ₹12,000 crore (US$1.7 billion).

What is the dispute?

  • Environmentalists, activists and fishermen opposed the project.
  • Their main contention was that the BMC is implementing the project with faulty and ‘illegal’ green clearances accorded in May 2017 by the MoEFCC.
  • They have claimed the project lacks a mandatory prior environmental clearance under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2006.
  • Activists had demanded that a biodiversity study of the Mumbai coast is also required before going ahead.
  • They also called a National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) report flawed as it relied on only 14 days’ pre-monsoon data. An EIA study requires impact in all four seasons to be studied, they contended.
  • Fishermen also claimed that the reclamation will destroy shallow water fishing and increase the turbidity of water, and that the narrow gaps between pillars will hinder movement of fishing boats.
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