Mumbai: As many as 331 households shall be displaced and 5,135 timber shall be felled for the upcoming 127-km-long Virar-Alibaug Multi-modal Hall, connecting Navghar in Virar to Chirner in Uran.
This month, the Maharashtra State Street Improvement Company (MSRDC) has submitted a proposal to the state forest division, looking for to divert a complete of 221 hectares of forest land — equalling the dimensions of twenty-two Azad Maidans — throughout Palghar, Thane and Raigad districts to make manner for the undertaking.
Notably, simply over three hectares of forest land belonging to the Sanjay Gandhi Nationwide Park (SGNP) in Thane, and 83 hectares of mangroves throughout the districts, shall be diverted for this hall, which guarantees to enhance connectivity throughout six main development facilities together with Vasai -Virar, Bhiwandi, Kalyan-Dombivali, Panvel, Taloja and Uran.
“The hall may even present much-needed connectivity with the upcoming Navi Mumbai Worldwide Airport and past, all the best way to the JNPT Port in Uran. Initiatives just like the Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway, the Trans Harbor Hyperlink, and the Devoted Freight Hall, shall be linked with it,” stated an govt engineer with the MSRDC, who’s concerned with the undertaking. He additionally shared that the journey time between Virar and Alibaug shall be minimize by 50%.
Crucially, nevertheless, this undertaking will fragment an essential wildlife passageway between SGNP and Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (TWLS), which exists as a “hen neck hall” close to Nangla forest spherical within the Yeoor Vary of SGNP. Final yr, researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society efficiently monitored the trail of male leopard L93 — nicknamed ‘Maharaja’ — throughout this hall, which is at the moment bifurcated by the Chindhoti-Bhiwani highway and a parallel, single-line railway monitor.
Forest division officers and researchers identified that the actual space chosen by L93 to cross over into Tungareshwar is about to endure a speedy city transformation, with three main infra initiatives set to come back up within the space, together with the MSRDC’s Virar-Alibaug multi-modal hall, the Excessive-Velocity Rail Company’s Diva-Panvel bullet practice line, and the Delhi-Mumbai devoted freight hall.
“Of those, the latter two have already been given forest and wildlife clearance, whereas the multi-modal hall’s clearances are being processed. The undertaking proponents have agreed to collectively construct a 1-km lengthy, 30-metre-wide overpass for animals throughout this hall between SGNP and TWLS, and two underpasses as effectively,” stated G Mallikarjuna, CCF, SGNP. This mitigating measure had been proposed by a state wildlife board sub-committee in January 2020.