Municipal commissioner I S Chahal said the tunnel boring machine (TBM) to be used to drill through Malabar Hill for the underground section of the coastal road is now being assembled on site and will be ready for boring by December 15. The TBM’s constituent parts were brought to Priyadarshini Park in April in 17 trailer trucks.
“The sea has receded on account of the reclamation being done for the coastal road. We have completed 17% of the physical work in the last four months and spent Rs 1,281 crore, the highest-ever on the coastal road. Work that had come to a complete standstill has moved at a fast pace,” said Chahal.
Two days ago, the BMC had arranged a visit for chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to see the progress of work on the 9.98km coastal road, being constructed from near Girgaum Chowpatty to the Bandra Worli sea-link.
Seafront residents anguished as the sea recedes from view
Residents of seafront flats along the stretch from Nepean Sea Road to Breach Candy are unhappy about the sea receding from view on account of the coastal road reclamations.
Municipal commissioner I S Chahal said he has received several calls from residents of flats and bungalows that till very recently were right next to the sea. “Environment minister Aditya Thackeray mentioned to me that his friend’s wife told him she was from Dehradun and the only reason she married in Mumbai was because the sea was so close to her marital home,” he said. But six months into her marriage, she finds that the sea is no longer nearby.
Chahal said the lockdown proved to be a boon for the project as trucks could move without hindrance, though much of the material for reclamation was brought by sea. “Three hillocks were cut for the Navi Mumbai airport project. We brought those boulders here by sea for the reclamations,” he said, adding that the TBM will finish boring under Malabar in nine months.