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Mumbai Port Trust’s marina project faces hurdles

The project’s cost is estimated to be about Rs 364.84 crore

Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, MoEF&CC, Mumbai Port Trust, Coastal regulation zone clearance, Marina in Mumbai, Expert Appraisal Committee, Coastal Regulation Zone, Mumbai Marina, Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority, Offshore container terminal project, Princess Dock, Reclamation work, Jawahar Dweep reclamation work, Migratory birds, Navi Mumbai International Airport

An expert panel of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has, for now, refused to consider a proposal from the Mumbai Port Trust related to development of a marina in Mumbai.

The proposal which sought coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearance was considered by the Ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for projects related to the Coastal Regulation Zone in its meeting on 28 April 2020.

The plan is to create a much-needed and iconic marina for Mumbai along with its supporting ancillary activities. The Mumbai Marina project includes 8.02 ha of land area – 5.20 ha for the marina basin, one ha for an ancillary centre, 0.84 ha for the walkway, and 0.98 ha for yacht repair and maintenance.

The project’s cost is estimated to be about Rs 364.84 crore. The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority has already recommended the above proposal for clearance in December 2019. The Authority, while recommending the proposal to the Environment Ministry in December 2019, had noted that earlier there was a plan for construction of an offshore container terminal project at Princess Dock, based on a ministry clearance in 2006.

Accordingly, the reclamation work had also started and completed in 2015-16, with a few pockets not fully reclaimed. The MCZMA letter noted that since the terminal project is shelved, MbPT’s marina project envisages excavation of the 2.5 lakh cu mtr reclaimed area.

Moreover MbPT was supposed to use the excavated earth for Jawahar Dweep reclamation work which is under progress. Jawahar Dweep is a small island off the coast of Mumbai where land reclamation work of MbPT is going on.

However, the Environment Ministry’s expert panel was not fully convinced about the excavation at Princess Dock and had concerns regarding migratory birds.

The EAC wanted to know the impact of such reclamation on near shore areas for migratory birds and roosting sites if any, with focus on whether such reclamation and subsequent impact on migratory birds will affect the Navi Mumbai International Airport air safety.

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