Thackeray launches tunnel digging on Coastal Road project

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Uddhav Thackeray. (File Photo: IANS)

After a successful war against coronavirus, the battle for Mumbai’s development has begun and the state would strive for this in full earnest, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said here on Monday.

Launching the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) named ‘Mavla’ to dig twin tunnels for the upcoming and ambitious Coastal Road Project (CRP), Thackeray said no efforts would be spared to deploy the best of science and technology for the speedy progress of Mumbai.

The CM said that the CRP was envisaged way back in 2012, and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link would be a key connector in it.

However, to ensure that Mumbai horizons were not restricted to the sea-link and to save the beautiful beaches of city, it was decided to take up the CRP with a tunnel en route in order to ease traffic congestion in the city.

Thackeray lauded the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for making good plan for the CRP and taking up its implementation vigorously.

Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray, BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal, BMC Additional Commissioner Ashwini Bhide, L&T Executive Vice-President S.V. Joshi and other dignitaries were present.

As per the current status, 20 per cent of the 8-lane CRP on the southern side from Marine Drive to Worli is ready and the entire sector of 10.58 km will be operational by July 2023, at a cost of Rs 1,281 crore.

The work, which proceeded in full swing during the lockdown months last summer and monsoon, involved reclaiming 175 acres land from the Arabian Sea with another 102 acres currently being reclaimed, said Chahal.

The 39.60 feet diameter TBM ‘Mavla’, which has been fully assembled, will now start the tunnelling work from the Girgaum Chowpatty-Malabar Hill sector to build the 3.40 kms long twin-tunnel with half-a-dozen interlinks, including 400 metres running under the Arabian Sea.

Slated to cost Rs 12,721 crore, when fully completed, the CRP will connect Churchgate on the southern tip with Kandivali in the northwest tip of the city, with huge costs in time and fuel savings.

The 29.20 km long CRP will hug the west coast of Mumbai and the work on its started in October 2018 with a deadline of 2022, but it got bogged down due to litigations.

Work came to halt in July 2019 when the Bombay High Court quashed the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances given to the CRP. The project resumed after the Supreme Court stayed the HC order in December 2019.

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