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.