- The coastal road project will change the face of Mumbai. It will homogenise the western coastline and destroy the diverse natural features such as beaches, mangroves, creeks and existing Koli villages.
The project involves large-scale reclamation and destruction of fragile ecosystems such as natural beaches, estuaries and mangroves. This will have an impact on natural drainage patterns, flooding and erosion and apart from affecting the livelihoods of fishing communities dependent on coastal resources.
The construction of a massive sea wall with a eight-lane highway across large stretches of the waterfront will cut off the city from the sea, transforming it from a waterfront city to a freeway city.
Reclamation due to the coastal road will cut off iconic landmarks and heritage buildings such as Bandra fort and Mahalaxmi temple from the sea forever and destroy the aesthetic beauty and diversity of our waterfronts.
5.A tangle of flyovers will ruin the iconic view of Haji Ali bay and and due to reclamation of the rocky headland, Bandra fort will provide a view of the freeway as opposed to a view of the sea.
- Reclamation along rocky beaches such as Bandstand will destroy existing beachfronts which are presently active and vibrant public spaces.
Such large scale reclamation will also concretise the coastline besides creating dead open spaces which are either cut off from the sea or promenades which are across the freeway and therefore difficult to access.
Instead of soothing westerly sea breezes, citizens along the coast will be subjected to and increased amount of vehicular pollution and toxic fumes from automobiles which will continuously ply the coastal road.
Ramps which would act as entry and exit points to the underwater tunnels which are a part of the coastal road are proposed in front of Khardanda village and on Juhu beach for which massive excavation, cut and fill and the construction of gigantic retention structures will be required. This will not only lead to the irreversible destruction of these beaches and waterfronts but completely wipe out fishing activity and cut off access direct access of the Koli community to the sea.
As opposed to its claims of reducing traffic congestion, more traffic will be diverted towards the western parts of the city to access the feeders or connectors to the coastal freeway leading to even more congestion within existing residential neighbourhoods and gaothan areas.
Enough! We need to stop this wasteful expenditure, this half-baked project which is a wilful destruction of nature in the name of ‘development’ and this false ‘solution’ to the city’s traffic woes. Despite the enormous social and environmental costs incurred, the Coastal road will do little to solve real transport problems or congestion within the city. But we the public will have to bear the enormous cost of the Coastal Road project that will benefit only seven per cent of the population who commute by car!”
What we need instead, as experts have repeatedly pointed out, is a comprehensive approach to transport planning with a range of alternatives towards an effective and efficient public transport system which will actually contribute towards bringing down congestion — not a coastal road which will increase car usage, besides being disastrous for our city, its environment and communities!
Remember, the deadline for sending your suggestions/objections to the BMC is July 27, 2015.
Make your voice heard. For your sake and for the sake of future citizens of Mumbai.
(Issued in the public interest by concerned citizens of Mumbai. For more details, send an email to: [email protected])