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Last Updated : Jun 03, 2019 10:21 PM IST | Source: PTI

Coastal road to ease traffic flow; payout for project-hit fishermen: MCGM tells Bombay HC

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) June 3 filed affidavits in response to five petitions submitted by activists, residents and fisherfolk community from the city challenging various aspects of the project.

The Mumbai civic body June 3 told the Bombay High Court that its coastal road project is in larger public interest and compensation will be given to fishermen affected by the ambitious venture.

The 29.2-km-long South Coastal Road project proposes to connect South Mumbai with north western suburbs of the metropolis. It is facing opposition from fishermen who claim the project will adversely affect their livelihood.

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) June 3 filed affidavits in response to five petitions submitted by activists, residents and fisherfolk community from the city challenging various aspects of the project.

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In April, the high court had prohibited the MCGM from carrying out any further work on the project, prompting the civic body to move the Supreme Court.

In May, the apex court had permitted the corporation to carry out existing work, but barred it from taking up any any new task related to the project.

The apex court had directed the high court to take up the petitions for final hearing.

The MCGM, in its affidavits, has said to address the concerns of fisherfolk, the civic body will engage the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute to conduct a detailed survey of the area which may be affected by the project and submit a report.

The civic body is also preparing a Fisherfolk Rehabilitation Assessment Policy, on the lines of one adopted by Mumbai's development agency MMRDA in the Trans Harbour Link project, according to the affidavits submitted before a bench.

"The corporation will form a Fisherfolk Rehabilitation Assessment Committee to study the affect on the livelihood of fishermen that may occur due to the project, identify project affected fishermen and formulate policy for monetary compensation," it stated.

"The South Coastal Road project is being undertaken in larger public interest as a solution to the ever-increasing traffic congestion and burden on existing infrastructure," the affidavits read.

"In order to balance the rights of the citizens of the city with regard the impact that the South Coastal Road project may cause on some of the fisherfolk, the corporation has proposed to pay them (fisherfolk) monetary compensation," the MCGM said in its affidavits.

A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N M Jamdar later posted the petitions for final hearing on June 17.

The petitioners have challenged the reclamation and construction work for the project on ground that the same will result in damage to the coastline, destroy major marine life along the coast and also livelihood of the fisherfolk.

They claimed that the road will irreversibly damage the coastal ecosystem and deprive the city's fishing community of a key source of livelihood.

The project, that seeks to connect Marine Drive in South Mumbai to Borivali in North Mumbai, is one of the flagship infrastructure schemes of the BJP-led government in the state.

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First Published on Jun 3, 2019 10:19 pm
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