The BMC has closed some portions of Girgaon Chowpatty beach for the Mumbai Coastal Road Project. Environmentalists, meanwhile, have raised objections and demanded that the civic body stop encroaching and destroying the coast under the garb of developing a road. They have also warned that a complaint will be filed with coastal authorities if any violations are found in the work being done.
The coastal road’s first phase (a stretch of 10.58 km) is being constructed by the BMC from Princess Street flyover at Marine Drive to the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The road will have two tube twin tunnels of 2.07 km connecting Girgaum Chowpatty to Malabar Hill. The tunnels will run below Girgoan Chowpatty passing below Tambe Chowk, Khilachand Garden, Hanging Garden (BMC’s Malabar Hill reservoir) and Hyderabad Estate at Nepean Sea Road, before coming out at Priyadarshani Park.
Environmental activist Zoru Bathena said, “The work on the beach is completely illegal. BMC must stop encroaching and destroying our natural beaches and coast in the garb of developing a road. Infrastructure at cost of nature is not development, it is pure destruction. We will study all their papers to point out they had never planned such work on the beach.”
Environmentist D Stalin said, “The BMC should have left the beach portion. Even if the authorities have permission for the coastal work they have no right to put stone chips on the sand.”