Public hearing for west coast transport project likely on Nov 30
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The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRDC) has tentatively scheduled a public hearing for the west coast water transport project on November 30. The corporation hopes to start construction by the year-end.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) will consider the project for an environmental clearance after the issues raised in the public hearing are incorporated in the environment management plan.
"The public hearing is being held to address concerns of mostly the residents around the areas of construction and fishermen with regards to navigational challenges and so on," said Bipin Shrimali, vice-chairman and managing director at the MSRDC, adding that the project will involve capital dredging to a certain extent.
The district collector and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board officials will be present at the hearing.
The MSRDC plans to construct six terminals with ticket counters, arrival and departure lounges, restaurants, restrooms and bookstalls. The terminals will come up at Nariman Point, Bandra, Juhu, Versova, Marve and Borivali. The cost of creating infrastructure will be about Rs 750 crore.
As per the proposal submitted to the MoEF, the MSRDC has budgeted Rs 6 crore towards the environment management plan during the construction phase and Rs 1.4 crore during the operational phase.
The expert appraisal committee is scheduled to hear a proposal on November 8 for finalising terms of reference for the east coast water transport project that involves construction of terminals at Ferry Wharf, Mandwa and Nerul and operation of passenger ferries and roll on-roll off services for vehicles.
"Once the MoEF finalises the terms of reference for the east coast project, we will organise a public hearing for it as well," said Shrimali.