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Coronavirus outbreak in China causes delay in Mumbai's Coastal Road Project

25 experts from China were expected to be in Mumbai to assemble the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), but their visa has been denied due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus outbreak in China causes delay in Mumbai's Coastal Road Project
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Mumbai's upcoming coastal road project is one of the most ambitious plans for both the government and the citizens. The project is being developed at a cost of ₹13,141 crores. but it is being said that the current Coronavirus scare has affected the plan as the team is dependent on the equipment and manpower from the respective country for the 9.8km tunnelling. 

As per plans, the schedule of Girgaum Chowpatty to Malabar Hill tunnelling was expected to begin from May 2020, and the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) for the same was to be imported from Shanghai (China). The equipment was expected to leave China on March 1, 2020, and reach Mumbai by April, as the clearance process takes a month approximately. But experts have been denied the visa due to the outbreak.

Officials from the BMC have reached out to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for help. The 25 Chinese experts were expected to be in Mumbai to assemble the machine which could have taken around and without which the tunnelling work cannot begin. The team expects to begin the tunnelling work by August 2020.

Addressing the delay, a senior BMC official has stated that the team may face logistical issues if the delivery date gets delayed. They are expecting that the problem faced by Chinese officials gets addressed, as they were supposed to be in Mumbai to explain the procedure to use of TBM. BMC's additional municipal commissioner, Jayashree Bhoj further confirmed that the officials will approach agencies if a solution is not found in the next few days. 

As per the current plan, the team may rework the schedule and the project’s completion may further delay from the pre-decided mid-2023 plan.

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