Bombay HC sets up panel to check if fire engine obstructs jogging tracks

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Times of India | Shibu Thomas | Wednesday, Oct 11, 2017

Priyadarshini Park: Bombay HC sets up panel to check if fire engine obstructs jogging tracks

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday appointed a committee to visit Priyadarshini Park and check if the BMC's act of stationing a fire engine in the premises is obstructing or has caused damage the jogging and walking tracks.

A division bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Nitin Jamdar is hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Malabar Hill Citizen's Forum challenging the BMC's plans to set up a fire station on a 5,000 square feet portion of park that is spread over 65,000 square feet. The forum has also sought the removal of a fire engine and temporary structure that the corporation placed in the park in June 2017. The bench asked the forum to also focus on other issues in the area like the illegal double parking in Malabar Hill.

The park occupies about 40,000 sq mt and includes a children's park, walkway and jogging areas. The remaining area houses sports facilities. Senior advocate Joaquim Reis, counsel for the BMC, said that the fire station was important for the high profile area.

In an affidavit the BMC said that Malabar Hill and Nepean Sea Road had a large number of high rises and if there was an emergency a fire engine from the fore stations at Gowalia Tank, Byculla, Fort, or Nariman Point takes around 30-50 minutes to reach the site. Since June 2017, the temporary fire station at Priyadarshini Park had received around 29 calls. The affidavit further pointed out that Priyadarshini Park would be a major link for the proposed 29.2 kilometre Mumbai Coastal Road project that will connect Princess Street Flyover to Kandivli. A fire station at Priyadarshini Park would be able to respond to not only fire calls but also road accidents and rescue of victims. The court added the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority as a party to the PIL and directed them to file an affidavit regarding the Coastal Regulation Note for the plot.

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