Natural habitat of Gorai, Manori and Uttan being opened up for construction

It’s considered one of the last natural habitats in Mumbai — the coastal belt of Gorai, Manori and Uttan which accounts for a whopping ten per cent of the city’s land.
The coastal belt is an ecologically rich zone with beaches, hills, mangroves and mudflats.
But now, the Maharashtra government is in the process of opening up this 10,750 acre stretch of virtually pristine land for construction. A move that is raising serious concerns about whether it is subverting environmental norms and exposing this region to land sharks.
This belt is located on the outskirts of Mumbai, a city where real estate prices are among the highest in the world. It is virtually cut off from the mainland and is home to fishermen and farmers mainly from the East-Indian community. Its only claim to tourist fame — the Esselworld amusement park and the Global Vipassana Pagoda.
In early September, the State presented its plan for Gorai, Manori and Uttan, which aims to improve its connectivity to the city and open large swathes for development. Once it receives feedback from locals by early October, the State could move ahead to implement it.
Till now, just about ten per cent of this area has been developed. Nearly 90 per cent comes under a No Development Zone (NDZ), where construction is restricted. The only activities allowed are agriculture, amusement parks, golf courses, IT parks and entertainment studios. Seventy-one per cent of this falls in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), where development is further curbed. Two-thirds of the CRZ land is covered with mangroves where the law allows barely any construction.
The new plan carves out large swathes of land from the NDZ and frees it for construction by simply changing its zoning. In the new plan, the NDZ has shrunk to half its original size. Thirty-seven per cent of NDZ land or 3,587 acres will be designated into a Green Zone which allows a host of activities including residential and commercial construction, hospitality and entertainment. For instance, it allows the construction of bungalows, farmhouses, shopping centres, cinema theatres, resorts, hotels and theme parks.
The NDZ will also lose 20 per cent of its land or 1,962 acres to a Tourism Zone and two Development Zones, in the plan. These will also allow activities similar to the Green Zone, with one key addition. They will also allow “special commercial” activities like shopping complexes and malls.
‘Will destroy livelihoods’
Local residents have risen in opposition. “This will destroy our ecology and livelihoods,” says Neville D Souza from the Dharavi Beth Bachao Sangharsh Samiti. “There will be a rush of construction here from the mainland because land prices will be cheaper. The State plans to build two bridges to connect the city to this belt. This will increase the influx to Gorai,” he added.
Not only does the plan scuttle half the NDZ, it also unleashes massive building rights. Within the NDZ, the FSI was just 0.05 for most construction. But the building rights within the Green Zone can go up to five times higher. In the Tourism Zone, building rights are 6 times higher. Within the newly designated Development Zone I building rights can be 10 times higher.
Backdoor entry for builders’
“The green zone is a misnomer. It is a backdoor entry for builders. Large tracts of land have already been purchased by film makers and industrialists in anticipation of the plan being cleared,” alleges architect Pankaj Joshi of the Urban Design Research Institute.
“This new plan will destroy the natural ecosystem and turn this area into another concrete jungle,” said green activist Debi Goenka of the Conservation Action Trust. He also objected to the plan to build a coastal road along the shore.
“This will fall in the CRZ area, so how can it be allowed?” he asked. In fact, he points out that most development in this region could impact the fragile mangrove cover.
The State’s planning body, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) claims its proposal has taken environmental factors into consideration.
“Mangroves cover 45 per cent of the area. These will remain in the NDZ and no construction will be allowed there,” says its chief planner Uma Adusimilli.
“In fact, the earlier NDZ permitted quite a lot of development. In the Green Zone there will be more regulation,” she claims.
The MMRDA says its earlier draft of the same plan in 2012 had less development potential but locals wanted more.
Keywords: GoraiManoriUttandevelopment of coastal beltnatural habitatMMRDAmangrove habitatGreen ZoneCoastal Regulation Zone


Maharashtra drops sea-links for Mumbai, opts for coastal road

To be developed on partially reclaimed land and stilt between Nariman Point & Kandivli
Mumbaikars can now expect a pollution free ride along the western coast as the Maharashtra government has submitted its proposal to the Centre to construct 35 km coastal road between Nariman Point and Kandivli in the western suburb. The project, with about 18 access points along the entire road, entails an investment of Rs 8,000 crore. The government will soon appoint the state run Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) or the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as the nodal agency for the project which will be implemented through a joint venture route.
Chief Minister admitted that the project was not financially viable and therefore the six lane coastal road has been proposed. The project envisages reclamation of land and construction of stilts especially on mangrove patches. Chavan informed that he has submitted the coastal road project proposal to minister of state for environment and forests Prakash Jawadekar during latter's recent visit in the city.
With Chavan's announcement, the government has given a silent burial to the Rs 5,000 crore Worli-Haji Ali sea link project awarded to the Reliance Infrastructure. The concession agreement was signed between and Reliance Infrastructure in June 2010 but the project could not take off due to administrative and environmental issues. Reliance Infrastructure will exit from the project. However, the state government has yet to formally scrap the project which would have completed by now.
Sushil Jiwarajka, former chairman of FICCI's western region told Business Standard ''Given the acute shortage of land for expanding mass transport system, the idea of coastal road seems to be the most viable option. Detailed feasibility studies be undertaken at the earliest. Precious time has already been lost on studying various options and it it time to take action and complete the project in a time bound manner.''
However, a government official said that the costal zone regulation (CRZ) clearance is key for the project to take off."The possibility of development of coastal road emerged in February 2011 after the modification to the Coastal Zone Notification where-in construction of roads on stilts have been allowed as a permitted activities. Section 3 of CRZ Notification provides land reclamation as a prohibited activity,'' the official added.
Incidentally, a section of fishing community has already voiced their opposition to the coastal road project. ''The government will have to take the fishing community into confidence before finalizing the proposed coastal road. There are 35 fishermen colonies with more than 1 million population on the western coast. The coastal road will adversely impact the livelihood of those depending on fishing activity,'' said Damodar Tandel, president, Maharashtra fishermen action forum.
Coastal Road Ride for Mumbaikars
*Project is being considered after the revised CRZ notification issued in February 2011
*Government plans to do away with sea link projects citing financial non viability
*MSRDC or to be nodal agency
*Project to be developed through JV route


Real Estate Development Council supported the official's views,

No projects alongside coastal road: BMC[may get altered later by vested people]

Wednesday, 10 December 2014 - 7:25am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Decision likely to restrict development along the proposed road

With its proposal seeking environmental clearance for the ambitious coastal road project pending before the centre, the BMC has assured the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) that it will not allow real estate projects to come up that defy existing CRZ norms, along the road.
Why is the multi-crore project being considered?
It is being considered to expedite vehicular movement through the western suburbs, connecting South Mumbai to Kandivli. Given the road will take shape along the coastal line, and may even require land to be reclaimed for laying lanes, or pass through mangroves, the corporation has been requesting the MoEF to give its nod.
What do existing CRZ norms specify?
As per the norms, construction activity is restricted up to 500 metres from the sea's high tide line. Once the road takes shape, with lanes and promenade added along the coast line, the distance between seafront and area up to which construction activities are permitted presently, will increase.
This possibility was likely to leave scope for availing space for construction activities. The corporation however, has assured the government that it will stick to the existing line up to which development is allowed, even as distance towards the sea increases once the road is built.
Waiting for green signal from Centre
A civic official said: "During a meeting with CM Devendra Fadnavis and union environment minister Prakash Javadekar recently, we were asked if constructing the road would mean removing applicability of CRZ norms. However, we assured them that whatever construction activity will take place; it will be permitted considering the existing line upto which development is allowed. This line will not be breached."
He added that the BMC hoped to procure the required nod in the wake of the centre clearing projects to construct King Shivaji's statue in the Arabian Sea.
What options are the BMC considering for constructing the arterial road?
The proposed 35.6-km road stretches between South Mumbai and Kandivli. The BMC is considering two options mainly for constructing the arterial road. The first includes reclamation in sea, while the other proposes to have road on stilt through mangroves patches in areas like Bandra.
The first option will cost Rs8,000 crore, while the second is set to cost Rs1,000 more.
What has the BMC kept as target?

The official informed that the BMC collected Rs3,500 crore in the form of premium recovered, in lieu of fungible FSI to fund the road development. The civic body has kept a target of garnering Rs2,000 crore in a fiscal, dependent of the number of projects undertaken by city developers annually.

Support from NAREDCOSunil Mantri, president of National Real Estate Development Council supported the official's views, saying: "The road will require certain area to be reclaimed in the sea. We agree that the stretch should not be commercially exploited. If the government wants to develop recreational space for people, we welcome the decision. This road will be crucial, in view of freeing western suburbs, if the plan is executed in compliance with environmental norms."
shows who controls decisions in mumbai

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Back to coastal road?sealink Bandra versova cancelled??!!LAND SHARKS WIN THE COASTAL ROAD?

Hunt resumes for consultant for Rs 8,000-cr western freeway

MUMBAI: Bids from consultants for Mumbai's Rs 8,000-crore coastal freeway project have been invited for a second time. The freeway would connect the west coast of the city from Nariman Point to Malad-Kandivli and replace the plan to link the coast entirely through sea links.

Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), who is in charge of roads, said the last time the BMC had put out a tender it had received a single response. "Thereafter, a couple of reputed firms conveyed that they too would have bid had they been given more time. Hence, we have released a new tender," he said.

The ambitious project involves building a 35.6-km road that would run from MLA Hostel at Nariman Point to Malad-Kandivli. Along the way it would comprise tunnels, sea links, reclaimed roads and elevated roads.

The consultant would have to prepare the feasibility report, a detailed project report, a rough design, calculations for the area to be reclaimed and obtain clearances from various agencies for the construction. The consultant would also have to prepare the tenders based on which bids would be invited to construct the coastal road as well as promenades and open spaces along the entire route. It is envisaged that the reclamation would help create 75 hectares of open spaces.

The consultants would be given 18 months to complete the spadework. "Thereafter the actual tenders would be floated and bids invited. The project is likely to be completed by 2018-19," said an official source.

Gupta said the current estimate of Rs 8,000 crore could be revised. The consultants are expected to arrive at a more correct estimate of the cost after a detailed study of the project. While part of the funds for the route would be raised through the civic budget, the BMC would also seek funds from the state and Centre for the project. The cost would be recovered through tolls, unlike the Eastern Freeway, where there is no toll. The Eastern Freeway will be commissioned on May 1.

The western freeway is chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's dream project and expected to replace the sea-link project.

In January 2012, an 11-member expert technical committee had submitted its final report on the coastal road plan to the chief minister. "The coastal freeway system (to be) built in a cost-effective manner is in eminent public interest," the committee had said. "It is not merely a road infrastructure project, but one that ameliorates health hazards posed by extreme traffic congestion and generates large public spaces."

Critics of the freeway had pointed to the reclamation that had to be undertaken and also cited possible environmental degradation along the coast.


Bandra-Versova Sea Link on fast forward mode 

State road agency confident of floating tenders by August;3 construction options on the anvil 

Alka Shukla 

Your ride from the city to the suburbs could soon be a breeze by the sea.The state government has put on fast track extension of the suburban-end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
The agency executing the project,Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC),has expressed confidence about floating tenders for the Bandra-Versova part of the sea link by August.
The approximate stretch of the Bandra-Versova leg will be 10.1 km.This will be the final phase of the ambitious Western freeway.
While construction work of the Worli-Haji Ali Sea Link is set to begin in three months,work on the proposal of the Haji Ali-Nariman Point link is in its final stage.
We should be able to float tenders in about six or seven months, confirmed Vice-Chairman of MSRDC Bipin Srimali.Various surveys,including traffic data analysis,are under way 
A German-based firm,Parsons Brinckerhoff Consulting,is carrying out a detailed feasibility survey,which is expected to conclude around June.The companys report will help work out modalities of various construction model plans of the Bandra-Versova end of the link.


Three construction plan options for the Bandra-Versova Sea Link have been submitted by MSRDC to the state Cabinets sub-committee on infrastructure.This committees nod is a must for clearance of all big-ticket infrastructure projects.
These three could include a combination of a sea link,tunnel and a coastal road.
The first option,Plan A,is to have a sea link from Bandra to Juhu via Khar Danda.It will be followed by a cut-and-cover tunnel which will end near Versova.This plan envisages a 1-km coastal road in the final lap.
Cut-and-cover refers to a method of construction of shallow tunnels.
It may be mentioned that onethird of the proposed Haji Ali-Nariman Point link will be built in a similar manner.
Plan B proposes a sea link across from Bandra to Versova.
Plan C,the final option,is to construct a coastal road on stilts from Bandra to Versova.


The estimated cost of the Bandra-Versova link is between Rs 2,300 crore and Rs 3,000 crore,depending on which of the three plans is chosen. The project will be in partnership with a private company.It will be developed on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis.However,it is not clear whether the government will contribute a share by way of Viability Gap Funding. A proposal detailing the broad aspects of the project has been submitted to the Union environment ministry for its approval.A reply is expected by March. However,irrespective of which of the three plans is finalised,a patch of mangroves near Khar Danda,which is classified as mangrove land,could prove to be a stumbling block,where the environment ministrys approval is concerned.

The approximate stretch of the Bandra-Versova leg will be 10.1 km.This will be the final phase of the ambitious Western freeway 

Coastal roads instead of Sea links?


First look: Rs 4,300-crore Versova-Bandra Sea Link

Yogesh Naik
Artist’s impressions of the Versova-Bandra arm of the Sea Link, which in the future will extend all the way to Nariman Point along Mumbai’s western coast, shows three entry/exit points on the nine-km stretch, and one spot for a proposed extension in the future.
The plans, accessed by Mumbai Mirror, have already received one set of environmental clearances, and the MSRDC (the nodal agency for the Rs 4,340-crore project) is now preparing the groundwork for the tender process.
The link runs approximately 900 metres off the coast. The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has cleared the project, and passed it on to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) with a recommendation that it be given a final go-ahead.
A marine geo-technical investigation, to obtain information on the physical properties of rock and soil on the sea-bed, began in October, and the MSRDC hopes to begin construction in January, 2014.
A five-year deadline has been set for the project to be completed. 45
Minutes that commuters will save, according to MSRDC estimates 14
The number of signals you will skip by using the Versova-Bandra Sea Link 1500 Metres. The average depth of the superstructure 9.3
Kilometers. The (approximate) length of the Versova-Bandra Sea Link 16
Kilometers. The total length of roads that will be built, including the three connecting arms 2019
The year this segment of the Sea Link will be completed, if all goes to plan

The project plan includes a 150-metre cable-stayed bridge (similar to the stretch at the Reclamation end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link) at Juhu beach, to ensure water transport is not affected.

Balance cantilever bridges with 100-metre spans will be built near Chimbai in Bandra, Khardanda and Juhu Koliwada – all fishing villages – to ensure fishermen can navigate the waters without difficulty.

At Versova, the Sea Link will join inland near Nana Nani Park, from where commuters can go right towards Juhu Circle, or left towards Yari Road. This connector will consist of six lanes (three in each direction).

The Juhu Koliwada connector will cut land on the stretch of beach at one end of Khar Danda, near Juhu Koliwada, and then go further inland before turning left towards Juhu road. This stretch will have four lanes.

The Versova-Bandra Sea Link meets the Bandra-Worli segment at a clover leaf intersection. A few kilometers before this, at the Otters Club end of Carter Road, space has been marked out for another connector, which can be built in the future.

First look: Rs 4,300-crore Versova-Bandra Sea Link

Artist’s impressions of the Versova-Bandra arm of the Sea Link, which in the future will extend all the way to Nariman Point along Mumbai’s western coast, shows three entry/exit points on the nine-km stretch, and one spot for a proposed extension in the future.

The plans, accessed by Mumbai Mirror, have already received one set of environmental clearances, and the MSRDC (the nodal agency for the Rs 4,340-crore project) is now preparing the groundwork for the tender process. The link runs approximately 900 metres off the coast.

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has cleared the project, and passed it on to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) with a recommendation that it be given a final go-ahead.

A marine geo-technical investigation, to obtain information on the physical properties of rock and soil on the sea-bed, began in October, and the MSRDC hopes to begin construction in January, 2014. A five-year deadline has been set for the project to be completed.

45Minutes that commuters will save, according to MSRDC estimates

14The number of signals you will skip by using the Versova-Bandra Sea Link

1500Metres. The average depth of the superstructure

9.3Kilometers. The (approximate) length of the Versova-Bandra Sea Link

16Kilometers. The total length of roads that will be built, including the three connecting arms

2019The year this segment of the Sea Link will be completed, 
 if all goes to plan

MSRDC to seek green nod for Versova sea link once again ...
Feb 22, 2013 – MUMBAI: The 10-km Versova-Bandra sea link project may not get delayed due ... A contingent of 174 personnel has been sanctioned for Juhu ...


Coastal roads instead of Sea links?

Marine Drive would go from having eight lanes to 12 – six in each direction – and would connect to Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade. The latest relaxations of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms may not only help cut the cost of building roads along the city’s west coast, they may also lead to the coast’s geography changing dramatically. After indicating that the state is leaning towards building coastal roads rather than sea-links, officials said that they are studying the possibility of building the coastal road up to Cuffe Parade and not just Nariman Point. From Priyadarshini Park (PDP) the plans are to build a tunnel to the H2O water park, which is at the southern end of Girgaum Chowpatty. The 700-m tunnel would cost Rs 700 crore. From there, a 6-km coastal road would extend along Marine Drive to NCPA at Nariman Point and then turn towards Badhwar Park in Backbay Reclamation. This road would cost Rs 600 crore. Four lanes would be added to the existing eight of Marine Drive. The four lanes would extend into the sea and could be built on the area on which the promenade and tetrapods are presently. Where needed, stilts could accommodate the road, but reclaiming land may be impossible. The new CRZ rules, which came into existence in January 2011, permit the construction of coastal roads on stilts. Interestingly, an official said that while Marine Drive may be extended over the promenade, the promenade could be saved and shifted towards the sea. It is not known how this would be accomplished. The government recently spent Rs 27 crore to revamp the promenade from Nariman Point to Chowpatty. Phase II of this makeover never took off. Officials pointed out that very little land would have to be acquired, for which compensation can be given as per norms. Officials have already said that they may scrap the Worli-Haji Ali Sea-Link, the contract for which is with Reliance Infrastructure. In its place a 5-km coastal road is being planned from the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli Sea-link to PDP. While the Worli-Haji Ali Sea-Link would have cost Rs 4,500 crore, the longer coastal road will cost Rs 500 crore. The 11.7-km coastal road from Worli to Cuffe Parade, including the tunnel from PDP to Chowpatty, would cost Rs 1,800 to 2,000 crore. A sea-link and tunnel between these locations would cost Rs 12,000 crore. It cost Rs 1,700 crore to build the 5.6-km sea-link between Bandra and Worli. North of Bandra, the state has already planned a coastal road to Versova. The over-10-km project would require around Rs 1,000 crore. Earlier, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had planned a costly tunnel from Chowpatty to Badhwar Park at a cost of Rs 6,000 crore. A senior official said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has given the go-ahead to explore a coastal road within the CRZ rules and to consider the demands of locals, fisher folk and traffic. 

Ahmedabad turns parking bay for private jets - The Times of India › BusinessShare
Himanshu Kaushik
Mar 29, 2013 – After landing at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in ... What else does a long queue of neatly parked private jets mean?

Mumbai billionaires parking their jets at Ahmedabad airport | Mar 31, 2013, 10:08AM IST

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Ahmedabad: After turning out to be a safe and viable destination for the business and industries, now Gujarat is fast emerging as the most sought destination for the Mumbai billionaires seeking safe and cheaper destination to park their jets.   

Strict parking rules and space crunch at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is forcing the owners to park their flying machines at Ahmedabad's Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. 

At present one can see about 20 private jets and choppers parked at Ahmedabad airport. Out of which only five are owned by local business groups like Adani and Zydus Cadila whereas, the remaining machines belong to Mumbai-based businessmen. 

The owners have to shell out heavy penalty for parking jets after the specified time at Mumbai airport. Parking charges varies from Rs 1,000 to 15,000 per hour depending on the weight and penalty is almost 50 percent more than the routine charge.     

According to a report published in the Time of India, Mumbai airport collected Rs 4 crore as fines between June and December 2012.

At present Ahmedabad airport charges just one third of the Mumbai's parking fee.    

Juhu runway move to put choppers in flight path

Manju V, TNN Sep 17, 2012, 02.23AM IST

MUMBAI: A group of Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials have sought to issue a controversial order that allows helicopters to land on the main runway of Juhu airport when Mumbai airport's secondary runway is in use. The order is controversial as these choppers would come in close proximity to the aircraft landing on Mumbai airport's secondary runway. It would be a nightmare situation for pilots and air traffic controllers.
The notice, proposed on Thursday by a general manager of Juhu airport, said that when the secondary runway is in use at Mumbai airport, fixed-wing aircraft should not be allowed to land in Juhu, but helicopters can continue to land. The notice has triggered alarm among pilots and air safety officials. "So now there is no problem if a passenger aircraft operating from Mumbai's secondary runway collides with a helicopter landing on Juhu's main runway," said a letter sent on Sunday by S Mangala, AAI deputy general manager, aviation safety, to a number of top officials, including civil aviation minister Ajit Singh.
The problem arises as Mumbai and Juhu airports are close to each other and both have a pair of cross runways each. Because of this, the flight paths of aircraft landing/taking off from Mumbai's secondary runway and those operating from Juhu's main runway come very close to each other. To ensure a safe separation between aircraft, when the secondary runway was in use in Mumbai, Juhu also used its secondary runway. But from Tuesday onwards, Juhu's secondary runway is expected to be closed down for six months for repairs. So if Mumbai airport uses its secondary runway during this period (for instance, when main runway has to be closed for maintenance, when wind direction changes etc), the only safe option left with AAI is to suspend flight operations at Juhu airport.
Keeping this in view, last Wednesday, AAI's joint general manager, air traffic control, had prepared a notice (called NOTAM in aviation parlance. It is a notice issued for pilots, airports etc) which stated that when the secondary runway is in use in Mumbai, no flights will be allowed to land in Juhu. But a day later, an AAI general manager overruled the said NOTAM and suggested an amendment. The new NOTAM (TOI has a copy) said that only fixed-wing aircraft will be banned from landing in Juhu when the secondary runway is in use in Mumbai. In short, AAI officials see no harm in helicopters flying close to passenger aircraft operating from Mumbai's secondary runway.
Jayant Dasgupta, general manager, air traffic control, Mumbai, said he was not aware of the issue. M Yadagiri, airport director, Juhu, said he could not comment on the matter as it was technical. An AAI general manager, requesting anonymity, defended the controversial notice. "Flight paths of helicopters landing on Juhu's main runway 26 will not collide with that of aircraft landing in Mumbai airport's secondary runway if they follow a particular pattern," he said.
But Capt Uday Gelli, senior helicopter pilot and president of Rotor Wing Society of India, said: "When a helicopter comes in to land on Juhu's main runway, at a particular point, it comes very close to aircraft landing on Mumbai's secondary runway. The horizontal separation between these two aircraft would be about 500 metres, which is not safe." Capt Gelli added that this is the reason why Juhu airport cannot do without a secondary runway and so AAI should have undertaken its timely repair and maintenance.


Maharashtra govt shoots down AAI's Juhu airport expansion plan ...
Jan 8, 2013 – The AAI, which manages the Juhu airport, has proposed to extend the existing ... V P Agarwal that the locals might object to the plan to extend the runway. ... of half of the beach and this will not go down well with the residents.

State govt shoots down Juhu airport expansion | Business Standard
Jan 7, 2013 – Although the Juhu airport expansion had been conceptualised ... of India chairman V P Agarwal that locals might object to the plan. ... It will mean closure of half of the beach and this will not go down well with the residents.'' ...

Juhu residents mull PIL against airport plans

Linah Baliga, TNN Apr 17, 2013, 03.45AM IST

MUMBAI: The Airport Authority of India's plan to develop Juhu airport into a commercial airport that supports the operations of 20 ATR aircraft plus private jets is meeting with stiff opposition from Juhu residents, who plan to meet the chief minister and civil aviation minister to present their objections. If necessary, the residents will even file a PIL to oppose the plan, they said.
Juhu residents say that the Rs 2,000-crore project, which would spread across 260 acres, would use government funds and public land to build a facility for private extravagance. They added that the BMC's Development Plan (DP) has for 40 years envisaged sports facilities, a recreation ground and two arterial roads connecting Santa Cruz and Vile Parle. All this would have to be shelved to accommodate the new airport. The iconic Juhu beach and a catchment area for monsoon rainwater would also be damaged.
In the 1970s, a Japan Airlines plane crash-landed into a nullah while attempting to land at the airport, which shows the risks involved in operating larger aircraft there, said residents. A major cause for concern is that the new project's runway would end less than 100 metres from the gate of the 500-bed Nanavati Hospital. "A larger airport would create a mess in the area. It would disturb the patients," said Sachin Nanavati, trustee, Nanavati Hospital. "How would we cope with all the din and noise? There is a lovely terrace for patients, which provides an open view of Juhu beach. It provides a relaxing atmosphere. But the airport runway would lead to the whole area being concretized."
More than 10,000 tourists visit the iconic Juhu beach daily and a runway would destroy it, feared residents, who added that the safety of 6,000 slumdwellers living on airport land must also be considered. Hansel D'Souza, spokesperson, Juhu Citizens' Welfare Group (JCWG), said a large portion of land would have to be raised and concretized to build the airport. "The whole land is swampy and is a holding pond during the monsoon. They will fill Juhu lake and destroy it. This would mean Vile Parle and JVPD could be submerged by floods. The BMC's Rs 85-crore pumping station at Irla has made a marginal difference." He said the residents have begun considering filing a PIL on the issue.
The protest is being supported by JCWG, Mumbai Nagrik Manch and Gulmohur Area Societies Welfare Group. Vishwanath Mada, president, JCWG, said a larger airport would destroy the quality of life. "We are not against the development of the city, but we are against the destruction of the quality of our lives. Knocking off floors of buildings like Mithibai and NM Colleges and robbing Mumbai of green lungs is avoidable," he said. Officials have said they might have to remove floors from the colleges to accommodate flight paths. The residents said that experts have opined that an extra runway at Santa Cruz airport could help increase traffic there. They said the airport at Navi Mumbai should be fast-tracked as a "national priority".


 Mumbai Mirror Logo

Major obstacle course before Juhu airport project gets green light

Aviation ministry list various issues that need to be resolved before aerodrome gets clearance to be independent airport

The civil aviation ministry’s grand plans to transform the Juhu aerodrome into an independent airport that will operate along with Mumbai airport, catering exclusively to commercial turboprops, pivate jets and helicopters is not going to be an easy task to achieve in three years.

Conceding that executing the Rs 2,000 crore project is going to be tough, the union civil aviation secretary KN Shrivastava, who personally surveyed the Juhu airport on Friday, told Mumbai Mirror“The Juhu-Tara road is an obstruction for the runway, which has to be realigned and extended into the sea. Rehabilitating slum dwellers from 40 acres of land will be a challenge, as will be carrying on with the 100-plus daily helicopter operations.” 

Shrivastava held a meeting with the Maharashtra Chief Secretary Jayant Banthia, MMRDA Commissioner, UPS Madan, BMC officials, other senior government officials and a few legislators before carrying out a site visit.

The ministry at the moment has no idea how many people will have to be rehabilitated. “For the slum patch, the slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) has been approached to conduct a survey so that the affected can be rehabilitated within a portion of the same land. Normal operations will be attempted from a portion of the airport where helicopters will land and take off,” Shrivastava added. The secretary informed that Mumbai airport will be saturated within the next five years.

“With the proposed Navi Mumbai airport project stuck over land acquisition, Juhu will provide a breather,” he said, adding that if the state government was able to acquire the remaining 290 acres within the next three months then Navi Mumbai airport would be a reality in the next five years. To make Juhu airport operate simultaneously and independently of Mumbai airport, the alignment of Juhu airport’s runway will first have to be changed to make it parallel to Mumbai airport's main runway allowing both to be used simultaneously. 
Officials from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and the BMC say the runway realignment will affect existing structures on either end of the runway. “Possible reduction of height of existing buildings around the ends of the runway, which includes Mithibai College and Tulip Star Hotelwill come up as the development plan is updated,” officials present during the survey said.

The realigned runway will be higher than the present one and will be on stilts extending 500 metres into the sea, ending about 700 metres before the proposed Versova-Bandra Sea Link, cutting across the Juhu-Tara road, which will become a 400-metre long underpass, and Juhu Chowpatti, which will be developed into a view point from where people can watch planes take off.

“All commercial turboprop aircrafts, private jets owned by industrialists and helicopters will 
operate from Juhu after the Rs 2000 cr project is complete,'


Shrivastava said. According to him the contract will be awarded within 16 months from April 5 and the agency bagging the tender will have to complete work in 20 months thereafter.


The Times of India

Experts: Juhu airport revamp model unsafe

Chinmayi Shalya, TNN Apr 7, 2013, 01.59AM IST

MUMBAI: A Juhu airport with a realigned runway extending into the sea may be the most unsafe place for landing, said aviation experts after studying a redevelopment blueprint approved for the aerodrome.
On Friday, the Juhu airport redevelopment plan received an in-principle nod from the state government.
The plan includes the extension of the main runway into the sea so that the airport can handle fixed-winged aircraft, and the closure of the secondary runway.
Closing the secondary runway would mean the airport remains shut whenever the nearby main city airport uses its secondary runway. If the main runway at the aerodrome and the secondary runway at the city airport are operated simultaneously, it will bring aircraft that are landing at the two airports perilously close, making the extended runway an unsafe airstrip.

"The Juhu airport runways are laid out identically (to the main airport runways), which means Juhu can use its main runway in sync with only the Mumbai airport main runway," a senior pilot said. "The use of the extended main runway while Mumbai airport is using its secondary runway will create major air safety issues as aircraft paths would criss-cross."

The pilot said there were no two ways about it: operating the Juhu runway when the main airport is using its secondary runway would put people's lives in peril.

Experts called the redevelopment plan a "pie in the sky" as even airlines would be averse to operating from a place which would either violate safety norms or be shut almost 40% of the time.

As part of the Rs 2,000 crore plan, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) wants to extend the main runway 650 metres into the sea while also realigning it.
The extension will allow fixed-winged aircraft like ATRs and Bombardier Q-400 to use the Juhu aerodrome, while the realignment will be done to maintain the required distance from the main runway at the city airport.

The realignment will require demolition of prime property in JVPD and Vile Parle, said experts. While some buildings are in conflict with the proposed realignment, other tall structures pose an obstacle in ATR and helicopter landings.

"The runway will be moved 1,035 metres north, which means multi-storey buildings in JVPD and Vile Parle will have to be brought down to one or two floors," an AAI official said. "If this is not done, no operator would want to operate with so many obstacles in the path."
Experts also said the elevation of the main runway to about 12 metres above sea level would require the elevation of the entire airport, leading to flooding in the neighbourhood in the monsoons.

The AAI chairman was unavailable for a comment.!!!!!!!!!!! ==================================================