Juhu residents up against coastal road

Juhu residents are all set to oppose the coastal road being planned by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation.

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Juhu residents are all set to oppose the coastal road
being planned by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). In the coming days the residents, along with the ones in Bandra, plan to take a delegation to the environment secretary, sounding their vociferous objection to the proposed idea of the coastal road.

In an effort to decongest the traffic in the city and reduce the burden on existing roads, the MSRDC is looking at three options to connect Nariman Point to Dahisar. The three options that the MSRDC is open to are sea link, coastal road on stilts and coastal road on the seaward side along the Bandra-Versova stretch.

Another option of cut and curved roads is already being discarded by the residents as they argue it will destroy the beachfront. MSRDC itself is finding the sea link an expensive option.

“They basically got the idea after Jairam Ramesh made a statement that a coastal road can come up in coastal regulatory zone area. However, we feel that it will only ruin the beachfront by reclaiming the land. Already beaches at Dadar and Mahim have been destroyed. They will end up making the entire stretch into another Marine Drive. Why they cannot have a road through the aerodrome that was proposed in the DP plan and is a cheaper option,” said Hansel D’Souza, president of the Juhu Citizens Welfare Group (JCWG) who is seeking an appointment with the environment secretary.

Residents are also not very keen on the idea of a coastal road on stilts. “That could destroy the mangroves. Why they can’t do something on the road. Why do they have to go for such big ticket projects?” said Kunika Lall, member of Andheri Versova Welfare Residents Association.

Fisher folk too seem to be complaining. Narandra Manohar Gawade, trustee of the Juhu Koliwada Koli Jamat said, “Kolis are opposing a small stretch of road at the Madh. We obviously will not allow this to come here,” said Gawade.

When contacted, a senior MSRDC official said, “Basically it is one of the alternatives and the study is still going on. We are looking at a possible alignment and things are yet to be decided.”

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