By Hussain Indorewala & Shweta Wagh
Published on Scroll.in on 28th August 2015
The Maharashtra government’s plan to build a 34-km coastal road is rapidly running out of friends. The problem for its proponents is that the more they justify it, the more absurd it sounds. The government wants to build a coastal freeway in Mumbai, from Nariman Point in the city’s south to Kandivali in the western suburbs. But the voices of protest against it are growing.
On August 15, hundreds of people joined in protest against the coastal road. Already in July, Mumbai’s fisherfolk decided to unanimously oppose the project. The Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan non-profit group has also issued its own statement condemning what it called a “futile” investment at the expense of the social sector and calling for “real and practical” transport alternatives.
The project now has two versions: a Rs 8,000-crore joint technical committee version that came out in 2011 and a newer, Rs 12,000 crore, detailed project report that was opened up for public comments recently. Objections to the new plan have now prompted its apologists to suggest alterations, such as doing away with the under-sea tunnels and building stilted roads over mangroves. But as we pointed out in an earlier article, the problem is the project itself, not its alignment.
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