Citizens' Issues
Humanistic and Futuristic Approach to Mumbai Coastal Road Project
The 33 km Mumbai Coastal Road must be viewed as providing universally accessible open public space devoid of noises from traffic and other social activities
 
Irrespective of affluence level of people, the desire to make life not just livable but making it safe, comfortable and meaningful has been the pursuit of mankind. Article 21 of Indian Constitution, Right to Life says it so too. This is achieved by economic activities, cultural and social exchanges and all other forms of human interaction. All these generally consume energy. Energy is largely generated by burning Fossil Fuels. Burning Fossil Fuels emit gases that not only pollute surrounding air but emit Green House Gases (GHGes) leading to Global Warming and Climate Change (GW & CC). It is estimated that in about a hundred years, the sea water levels will rise by about a meter.
 
 
Mumbai, a coastal city was largely built, the 72 sq km Island City part that is, by reclamation of mud flats lying between the seven islands. The Worli Sea Face, the Hornby Villard (Haji Ali) and, the Marine Drive are examples of building protection walls for the then existing mean sea levels (MSL), which were thought to be invariant with time, providing additional protection to the reclaimed mud flats. The GW & CC has changed this theory of constancy of MSL. Existing protections will not be able to prevent waters submerging large areas of Mumbai, especially the Island City. Suburban Mumbai too cannot escape but unlike Island City, there is not much reclaimed land vis-à-vis about 360 sq km of Suburban Mumbai.
 
Given that Mumbai is economic hub of India, it cannot be allowed to get eroded by submergence. Protection walls or Levies have to be built from this perspective. But it does not mean that the protection wall has to be very urgently built. Building protection walls opens up opportunity to provide better quality of life to a very large section of residents of Mumbai. Therefore costs of construction should be considered from the perspective of the value that is being protected. By such protection, continuation of sustained growth of economy can be visualized. Construction of such protection could be looked at from the value added by new reclamations.
 
Building the protection wall appears to be of secondary consideration in the Government / Municipal Corporation proposal. The primary objective seems to be providing means to travel speedily up to Kandivli right from the Nariman Point CBD by the Coastal Road. Twelve intermediate locations connectors in this 33 km Coastal Road are to give access to different parts of Mumbai. Further to this, there is the plan to connect this CBD with Uran on the main land to make a series of ring roads in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The authorities have erred here by making this as primary reason for constructing the Coastal Road.
 
The four plus four lane Coastal Road will have a carrying capacity of 6,000 Persons per Hour (PPH) in a reasonably packed motorcar density in the peak direction. For sparser density, the throughput will be less and for denser traffic it is likely to increase to 8,000 PPH but the speeds would drop very significantly. Plying public transport on Coastal Road is important but plying in dedicated lanes or as Bus Rapid Transit System or even running a Metro Rail would be an exercise in futility as there would be not adequate people to make it operate at high frequency and economy. Public Transport must be where people are already there and their destinations are conveniently reachable.
 
The Mumbai Suburban Railways carry about 3,60,000 PPH in the peak direction. The current capacity after MUTP II has reached 1,80,000 PPH. If the 75 lakh population is to travel safely and in reasonable comfort, additional 1,80,000 PPH capacity Public Transport is required to be put in place. Metro Rail as envisaged in the Master Plan will provide 72,000 PPH south of Andheri-Ghatkopar and 1,08,000 PPH North of Andheri-Ghatkopar. Going by the time it took to construct the 11 km of Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro, it should take nearly 100years for the remaining 135 km of the original plan. The modified plan has as 162 km instead of 146 km of original plan. Thus we have 151 km remaining. Even a very optimistic estimate for the remaining 135 km of original plan cannot be less than 50 years. Running these projects concurrently will get Mumbai into such a traffic snarl that other cities will be better to move to. Thus Metro Rail needs to be very meticulously planned and executed. Idea of cost: Rs60,000 crore. (Author’s estimate Rs1,50,000 crore)
 
There will still be a deficit of 72,000 PPH even if we hypothetically assume that the whole Metro Master Plan is in operation today. An important point to note is that current annual fatality rate on Mumbai Suburban Railway System is 3,600 or there about mainly because of super crush load.
 
Answer to this, in absence of any better option in terms of time frame and capacity is operating buses on corridors to collectively give an overall capacity of 1,80,000 PPH. This is possible by emulating Bogota where 45,000 PPHPD corridor is operating over a decade. Mumbai needs 4 x 45,000 or 5 x 36,000 or 6 x 30,000 PPHPD corridors or any combinations such that at a high frequency of 20 seconds, buses would carry 1,80,000 PPH collectively. There could be other routes, the East-West connectivity too. 200 to 250 km of this kind of operation called Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) could be easily completed in 5 to 8 years without majorly causing traffic congestion. Idea of cost: Rs 7,000 Cr. (One-twentieth cost of Author’s estimate of 162 km of Metro Rail)
 
Reverting back to the Protection Wall Project, to improve quality of life of residents of Mumbai, sufficient reclamation should be done so as to create considerable public open spaces adjoining the water-body and also provide a row of medium rise buildings (6 storeys) followed by the Coastal Road, which includes NMT Lanes and service lanes. This configuration will keep the noise of moving traffic away from the open Public Space. Such place would be truly enhancing quality of life of so many who can access the place. To make this happen, this open public space must not only have buses plying on the Coastal Road, but the access to these will be also made efficient so as to enable many many people to enjoy the open public spaces. 
 
Issues of displacements of fisher folks can be tackled by modernising the fishing villages, while providing protection against sea water level rise. The traditional methods cannot continue as the land available with fisher folks will in fact begin to shrink and much of their activities will get curtailed with sea water level rise.
 
Mangrove protection is important as fish lay eggs herein and the initial growth of fish takes place in that ecosystem.
 
 
 

In Conclusion:
 
The 33 km Mumbai Coastal Road cannot be viewed as a facility to reduce road congestion in Mumbai.
 
Primarily it must be viewed as providing universally accessible open public space devoid of noises from traffic and other social activities.
 
It must also in parallel, be viewed as providing protection against Sea Level rises due to Global Warming and Climate Changes.
 
To achieve mobility needs of Mumbai, as explained, there seems no option but to provide four to six north-south corridors of BRT and some east-west connectors plus the needed feeder services in the system, making a holistic Bus Rapid Transit System. Providing BRTS does not mean road congestions during peak periods will cease to exist. It simply means that the necessary additional public transport capacities will be made available at the shortest time and lowest costs in comparison to other options. This will facilitate personal motorized vehicles users to take to public transport.
 
Issues of displacements of fisher folks can be tackled by modernizing the fishing villages while providing protection against sea water level rise. The traditional methods cannot continue as the land available with fisher folks will in fact begin to shrink and much of their activities will get curtailed with sea water level rise.
 
Mangrove protection is important as fish lay eggs herein and the initial growth of fish takes place in that ecosystem.
 
Prioritizing Infrastructure Development:
 
1. Plan out Four to Six North-South plus four East-West BRT corridors plus feeder services catering to these and forming a comprehensive System called Bust Rapid Transit System or the BRTS. Fulfilling the needs of Pedestrian and Non-Motorized Vehicles shall be integral to the BRTS. The BRTS Project must be worked for completion in 8 years including feasibility study and execution. The North-South Corridors shall have a capacity of 1,80,000 PPH at least.
 
2. Other transport projects may proceed as they are proceeding currently, however care shall be taken to ensure that finance to BRTS Project shall not get affected due to these transportation projects.
 
3. Plan out the Coastal Road Project keeping the viewpoint of creating protection wall or levies against rise in sea levels due to Global Warming and Climate Change. While doing so, ensure providing large areas as accessible open public spaces, creating a row of medium rise (6 stories) commercially exploitable buildings for residences and commercial use, modernize the facilities for fisher folks and protect mangroves, the breeding waters of fish and marine lives.
 
4. No project shall be given priority over BRTS since BRTS is the only option that can in the shortest period and significantly lowest costs provide the much needed mobility in Mumbai and address the annual fatality figure of 3,600 persons on the currently super crush loaded suburban railway system.
 
(Sudhir Badami, an IIT Bombay graduate in Civil & Structural Engineering is a Transportation Analyst. He has extensively worked in planning and design of Civil and Structural Works including tower building structures, stacks and process columns as well as flexibility analysis of piping systems and challenging erection planning of structures and equipment. He was on Government of Maharashtra’s Steering Committee on BRTS for Mumbai and MMRDA’s Technical Advisory Committee on BRTS for Mumbai.)

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COMMENTS

Binod Bisht

3 months ago

pl info me latest news because there is no any office at roorkee.

Dib

1 year ago

the correct approach on viewing the coastal road. Really wish you take it up with the CM and the people opposing it. It needs to be up and running as soon as possible..

Infosys net up 9.8 percent in second quarter
Global software major Infosys Ltd on Monday reported net profit of Rs.3,398 crore for second quarter (July-September) of this fiscal (2015-16), registering 9.8 percent growth year-on-year (YoY) and 12 percent sequentially.
 
In a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the IT major said consolidated revenue for quarter (Q2) review grew 17.2 percent YoY and 8.9 percent sequentially to Rs.15,635 crore under the Indian accounting standard.
 
Under the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS), net income increased 1.6 percent YoY and 9 percent to $519 million and gross revenue 8.9 Apercent YoY and 6 percent sequentially to $2,392 million ($2.4 billion).
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

sadanand singh

1 month ago

Sir my father is also invest 60000rs and wright now our finencial condition is very bad. So we need it as early as possible april 2014 is that day said by agent we get our money but yet we did not get so please do somthing for us @ SEBI

judith fernandes

2 months ago

Sir, I hav invested 300000/- in this company and waiting payment which has already lapsed. The office in Goa has been shut down been a year. This has been real left me and others in a state of delima. I want to know when and how will I receive this amount. My email is [email protected]

Nokia India served fresh tax demand notice
The Cenrtal Board of Direct Taxes has served a fresh income tax notice on telecom major Nokia India pertaining to previous assessment years, an official source said on Friday.
 
"Fresh tax demands notice has been served to Nokia India for dispute relating to other assessment years, apart from the one being contested currently in ITAT," a senior finance ministry official said here.
 
The department had in 2013 slapped a tax notice of Rs.2,000 crore on Nokia's Indian subsidiary for violating the withholding tax norms since 2006 while making royalty payments to the parent company in Finland.
 
Nokia has sold its mobile unit to Microsoft, but the Chennai factory, which is involved in the tax dispute, was not included in the sale.
 
"The company has been served fresh notices. Now it wants those notices to be included in the ongoing discussions under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP)," the source said.
 
"Officials from India and Finland would meet soon to decide on the course of action," he added.
 
The MAP is an alternative procedure available to taxpayers for resolving disputes in double taxation cases.
 
Confirming the development, company officials contacted by IANS said: "Nokia has indeed received a claim from the tax authorities -- it is largely about the same dispute as earlier, so we have nothing to add."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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