After Two Long Years, BMC Deposits Full Amount Allotted to Marine Biodiversity Fund

After Two Long Years, BMC Deposits Full Amount Allotted to Marine Biodiversity Fund

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally deposited the full marine biodiversity fund to the Mangrove Foundation. Officials said that the foundation received ₹175.33 crores in funds for the conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity in the region. This is part of the conditions listed under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance that is necessary for the civic body’s Coastal Road Project

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The conditions for the CRZ clearance stated that the BMC had to pay 2 per cent of the overall cost of the project to the Mangrove Foundation on or prior to the beginning of the construction. However, the BMC only paid INR 25 crore last year. 

Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Mangrove Cell), Virendra Tiwari said - “The funds will be kept in fixed deposits as per the Foundation’s mandate, and used for the improvement of marine and coastal biodiversity.”

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The Mangrove Foundation had previously written to Manisha Mhaiskar, Principal Secretary, Environment on October 29 saying, “It is brought to your kind consideration that the project proponent (BMC) is yet to deposit Rs 227.42 crore to the Mangrove Foundation, which is a breach of the specific condition 12 of the clearance given to the project.”

Subsequently, the civic body revised the overall construction cost, thus bringing down the biodiversity conservation funds to INR 175.33 crores. When completed, the Coastal Road belt will span from Princess Street Flyover until the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli Sealink. 

Civic authorities conducted translocation of corals that were on the path of this project. Though translocation was completed for the initially identified set of corals recently, experts have said that there are more that could be in harm’s way unless shifted to another secure location.  

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