Citizen’s group alleges BMC of restarting works on Coastal Road project during the lockdown

Citizen’s group alleges BMC of restarting works on Coastal Road project during the lockdown

Mumbai organization Save Our Coast (SOC) has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking a stay in the BMC’s Coastal Road project. In their complaint, the SOC alleges that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has resumed working on the Coastal Road project by claiming that these are essential pre-monsoon projects in the region. 

This citizen’s group comprises residents from Nepean Sea Road, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Haji Ali, and Worli in Mumbai. Additionally, the complaint alleges contractors Larsen and Toubro Ltd. and Hindustan Construction Company Ltd, of not providing proper equipment to labourers at its worksite. 

A resident of Breach Candy said, “Noise pollution norms have gone for a toss, as BMC contractors are carrying out work through the night.”

Read - Coastal Road Will Enhance The Environment Further: BMC Chief 

“We have observed that the workers brought by the contractors don’t follow safety norms and it raises fear among residents about getting infected with Covid-19. Despite our complaints, the authorities haven’t come out clean,” said Mithil Choksi, a member of the Breach Candy Advanced Locality Management told Mumbai Mirror. 

In the BMC’s defence, Additional Municipal Commissioner, P Velrasu said - “If we don’t do this, the work which was done before the lockdown will get washed away during the rains. The contractors were told to follow social distancing and sanitisation norms and they are indeed following it,” adding that this work is absolutely essential. The BMC’s Coastal Road project has come under fire from citizen groups for a variety of reasons. Some questions were recently raised over the land reclaimed for the project while it was also reported that the BMC will cut nearly 140 trees for the Coastal Road construction

While the BMC may have some logic behind making sure the completed work isn’t hampered, project contractors should ensure that social distancing and personal safety protocols (masks or protective equipment) are provided. 

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