MCZMA Asks Authorities to Reconsider the 126 Km Virar-Alibaug Corridor as It May Impact Mangroves

MCZMA Asks Authorities to Reconsider the 126 Km Virar-Alibaug Corridor as It May Impact Mangroves

In order to reduce the cutting and removal of mangroves, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has asked the authorities to reconsider the proposed Virar-Alibaug multi-modal corridor alignment. 

At a meeting held on July 7, the MCZMA said that it needs a comprehensive survey on “quantification of mangroves” that may be impacted by this project. The Virar-Alibaug corridor was under the control of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), though the authorities have mentioned that they have now handed over its reins to the MSRDC (Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation). 

“Since MSRDC is already looking at constructing the Konkan Expressway and the Samruddhi corridor, it was considered apt to take over the project for integrated planning. However, since the handover is still under process, we cannot comment on the (MCZMA) decision as of now,” A B Gaikwad, Chief Engineer of the MSRDC said.

Also Read - First Phase Of Virar-Alibaug To Kick Off By Mid 2020

Meanwhile, the Joint Metropolitan Commissioner of the MMRDA, B G Pawar, said, “MCZMA has asked to look at an alternate alignment between Chirner to Balavali only. The decision to hand over the project to MSRDC was taken in an authority meeting held in July and is under process.”

The proposal comprised of an 8 lane stretch with dedicated lanes for Metro and rapid bus transit. This project was originally planned to be developed in two phases by the MMRDA. Under this plan, Phase 1 would include an 80 km stretch from Navghar to Chirner near JNPT. 

Phase 1A would comprise of an 18 km stretch between Chirner to Balavali. It’s worth noting that the MMRDA has previously sought Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for the completion of Phase 1A. Phase 2 of the project would consist of 28 km of road between Balavali to Alibaug.

This corridor would stretch 126 km and is proposed to pass through regions like Panvel, Pen, Bhiwandi, and Kalyan. There will be a total of 41 bridges, 48 underpasses, and 13 interchanges as per the proposal. The project had received the green light at a construction cost of Rs 19,000 crore.  

Also read - National Green Tribunal Asks Maharashtra To Curb Pollution Of Mangroves