Mumbai: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed before the Bombay High Court against the proposal of constructing a memorial in memory of Shiv Sena supremo the late Balasaheb Thackeray’s at Mayor’s bungalow in the city’s Dadar locality.
The PIL filed by social worker Santosh Daundkar states that the proposed construction blatantly violates Environmental Protection Act and Coastal Regulation Zone Notification as well as several other construction norms and parameters. It also states that the property is located in a green zone and no construction of a memorial is permitted in such zones.
“The petitioner submits that the Mayor’s bungalow is a heritage structure. Its demolition and reconstruction cannot be permitted without the approval of ministry of environment and forests,” the PIL reads.
The petitioner has also submitted that an order of the ministry of environment, forests and climate change ought to have been issued by the competent authority and expressed in accordance with the specifications. However, nothing of the sort was done and some vague discussion with entities having no statutory power under the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011, was shown to be an NoC of the central government.
“This petition impugns the decision of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) to refuse to take cognizance of conspicuous violations of law particularly that of Environment Protection Act, 1986 and the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011, in the matter of change of use of the land earmarked for Mayor’s Bungalow and recreation ground,” the PIL states.
In November 2015, chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced a memorial for Thackeray at the Mayor’s bungalow. Over the years, several rounds of inspections and site visits happened followed by approval for construction. The BMC, in November 2018, handed over the Mayor’s bungalow for the memorial. The bungalow had been home to the Mumbai mayor for past five decades.