Residents opposing Pedder Road flyover to meet MoEF committee

Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has invited bids for construction of the stalled Pedder Road flyover but resistance from a local residents association to the project continues.

Pedder Road Residents Association has sought a meeting with the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), which recently gave environmental clearance to the project. The residents want MoEF to consider options for decongesting traffic on the narrow road.

Taking note of the request, MoEF expert appraisal committee has scheduled an interaction with members of the association at its next meeting in New Delhi on January 28.

The committee has already recommended the Pedder Road viaduct for CRZ clearance, but the association wants to personally convey to the committee that the project would adversely affect the area by increasing congestion and pollution and defacing Girgaum Chowpatty.

"We will try to make them understand our objections. The road is curved at many places and even with a flyover, vehicles will not be able to travel fast. We should not end up with bumper-to-bumper traffic on top of the flyover and below it," said Veena Singhal of the association.

"Instead of a flyover here or a sea link there, there should be a seamless plan to take care of traffic congestion either in the form of Western Freeway or a coastal road," she said.

The association plans to approach National Green Tribunal in case MSRDC awards a contract for the project. Last month, MSRDC invited tenders for the 4.2-km flyover and the last date for bids is February 14.

"The committee has recommended the project for CRZ clearance, but we haven't received a written clearance. We will not award a contract until we get that. As far as we are concerned, we have submitted a list of all measures to cut down noise and air pollution and will comply with all conditions the committee has set before recommending the project for clearance," said an MSRDC official.

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