Mumbai: Western suburb residents initiate letter campaign to oppose coastal zone

Residents of western suburbs, particularly Bandra, have initiated a letter campaign, wherein they are addressing several government functionaries opposing the Coastal Road on multiple grounds.

The H-West Federation, a citizens’ organisation has begun the move after having decided to oppose the project hands down.

“There should be a mix of Coastal Road and Sea Link. Authorities cannot say that there will be either Coastal Road or Sea Links,” said Vidya Vaidya, a resident of Bandra Reclamation and member of H-West Federation.

“The Bandra Reclamation area was reclaimed in two phases. The combined reclaimed area has pushed the sea southwards in the Mahim Bay, has completely swallowed up the Dadar Chowpatty and has reduced the beach available as far as Versova. Not just in monsoon, even during normal high tide, the waves batter the walls of the properties adjoining Mahim and Dadar Chowpatty. What was a long and deep stretch of beach just a few years ago, has now disappeared forever,” mentions the letter written to the state authorities.

Environmentalist Rishi Aggarwal, an Andheri resident, too, is against the Coastal Road project, he said, “There is need to improve station areas as 6.5 million people use this mode, but no one wants to do that.”

According to transport expert Ashok Datar, more effort should be put in for mass rapid transport system that caters to the masses rather than promote private car ownership.

“All our members are very clear that to preserve our coastal areas from further damage it is imperative that the Sea Links be considered where new reclamation as are sought and should be way into the sea at least a good 500 mtrs away from the coast. The Sea Link extensions have the necessary clearances and are up to date with the tender formalities. Why waste this years of effort,” questioned the citizen federation.

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