A Regional Empowered Committee (REC) has governed that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will have to compensate for afforestation for clearing the way for the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road (GMLR). The decision was taken despite the fact that no tree would be removed within the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) for the project. Further, the committee has not approved the project yet and has sought further information regarding the same.
Proposed in 1960s, the GMLR was one of the most ambitious projects for connecting the Eastern part of the city to the West. While multiple connectors have been developed in the city since then, GMLR project did not take off. The BMC in its budget for the financial year 2019-20 has also earmarked Rs 100 crore for the Rs 3,000-crore project. The 16 km-long road will constitute a 4.7 km-long underground tunnel and requires 19.43 hectares of reserved forest area. It will commence at Oberoi Mall and terminate at the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) beyond Nahur station.
It is to be noted that the underground tunnel of the project requires multiple approvals including one from the National Board of Wildlife (which was given in February, 2019) and the State Forest Department. The final decision on the project now rests with the committee.
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