Silent protest held against coastal road project in light to protect the catchment areas of Mumbai

A silent protest was held against Coastal Road at Tata Garden, Breach Candy till Priyadarshini Park on Sunday March 10. There were huge concerns of the project affecting the fishermen and catchment areas.

Silent protest held against coastal road project in light to protect the catchment areas of Mumbai

Citizens and activists held a protest against the upcoming coastal road project on Sunday, stating that reclamation of land for the project would harm the city’s coastline and fisherfolk’s catchment areas. The group gathered at Tata Garden in Breach Candy, from where a peaceful march to Priyadarshini Park was planned. However, the march was later foiled by the intervention of the police.  

Around 80 citizens participated in the protest where the issue of reclamation was highlighted as the work has already begun at Amarsons Park and near Tata Garden. 

Amrita Bhattacharya, an activist working towards saving green spaces said that the work has started in full swing at these two sites and huge parcels of land are being reclaimed. When one side of the sea is reclaimed, displaced sea water goes to the other side, causing flood.

After the citizens gathered at Tata Garden, the local police intervened and the group was not allowed to leave the park. The police cited that the protest event did not have required permission, but citizens said that they had sought it beforehand. However, it was only a peaceful protest march and there was no shouting or sloganeering and they had a few banners and they were set aside when the police approached them. All they wanted to do was a silent march towards Priyadarshini Park, but the police did not let them proceed.

Also read- BMC All Set To Prepare Marine Biodiversity Conservation Plan For The Coastal Road Project

Other residents stated that the stir was organised to seek answers as to why the reclamation was being done. Authorities say that the project will decongest traffic, but they don’t tell them how. They are not sure of how much of the reclaimed land will be protected as an open space

Around 10,000 citizens had signed an online petition protesting against reclamation for the project last month. Meanwhile, the fishermen community recently highlighted their concerns over the impact of the project on catchment areas.

Kiran Koli, secretary of Maharashtra Machhimar Kruti Samiti said that they have an example of the Worli coast where fishing activities got curbed after the Bandra-Worli sea link's construction. There is no proper study on catchment areas through which the coastal road will pass and they demand that such a study should be undertaken first.

The 29.2-km-long coastal road is an ambitious project of the BMC which is all set to connect Marine Drive (South Mumbai) to Kandivali (Mumbai Suburbs) and is divided into three phases.

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