Versova-Bandra Sea Link: MSRDC in search of land for casting yard

Mumbai: Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is seeking 10 hectares of land parcel for a period of five years on rental basis for temporary casting yard for the ongoing Versova-Bandra Sea Link project.

They are looking for a land parcel which is located at a distance of maximum 20-kilometres from Juhu or Versova sea coast.

According to an MSRDC official, "Although a review petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court but simultaneously we are looking for another land parcel so that if in case the court's verdict does not come in our favour the project, work will not be affected. Only with the availability of the casting yard the project work could progress."

The HC has restricted MSRDC from using the previous Versova land parcel for casting yard purpose after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by Activist Zoru Bhathena. The petitioner had raised voice on using the shore land for casting yard as it will damage the marine biodiversity there.

Besides this, MSRDC has also asked the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to prepare a environment impact report of the restricted casting yard land.

The reports will be submitted in court in a bid to revoke the orders. According to MSRDC official, all necessary permissions have been already received for Versova casting yard land.

If any new plot of land is used for casting yard purpose once again all permissions have to sought which will further delay the project. With the absence of casting yard, MSRDC has been incurring daily loss of Rs 68 lakh.

As per the records, up to April 30, on VBSL project Rs 30 crore has been spend of which Rs 21 crore is utilised on design and survey considering that the proposed land for casting yard would be allowed to carry out the project work, said the officials.