Peddar Road residents move court against film museum

Opposing the construction of a proposed film museum,an amphitheater and a basement parking lot at Peddar Road,residents of the area moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday,urging it to direct the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Director General of Films Division to shift the project to Film City in Goregaon,which they termed “an appropriate alternative location”.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Mumbai | Published:January 25, 2012 2:29 am

Opposing the construction of a proposed film museum,an amphitheater and a basement parking lot at Peddar Road,residents of the area moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday,urging it to direct the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the Director General of Films Division to shift the project to Film City in Goregaon,which they termed “an appropriate alternative location”.

Besides citing irregularities in the permissions granted for the construction by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC),residents of St Helen’s Court,Sterling Co-operative Housing Society,Ajoomal Co-operative Housing Society and Sett Minar Co-operative Housing Society,have also said that the proposed construction in the Films Division premises at Peddar Road violates the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Preservation of Trees Act,1975,the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act,Development Control (DC) Regulations and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) regulations.

Seeking a restraining order on the construction of the proposed museum,the residents have stated in their petition that,“the proposed museum which expects to receive approximately 1,200 visitors per day will result in creating unparalleled traffic snarls and will cause significant hardship not only to residents of the locality,but the public at large who are required to traverse this arterial road for reaching their destinations in south or north Mumbai…”.

The petitioners also stated that approximately 1.5 lakh vehicles ply on Peddar Road daily. However,the BMC issued a commencement certificate (CC) for the project without the necessary permission from the traffic police,the petition stated. The increased vehicular traffic and noise would not only inconvenience the residents of the area,but also the patients in Jaslok Hospital,the petitioners said. As a result,noise pollution control norms will also be flouted as the area comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals has to be an earmarked silence zone,they stated.

The petition will be heard by the court on February 2,said Jamshed Mistry,lawyer for the Peddar Road residents.

The petition also states that the superintendent of gardens,in a letter of January 19,2011,had permitted the Films Division to cut 54 trees and asked them to transplant 19 trees and plant 108 within 30 days of the hacking. “Till date,not a single tree has been planted on the property….and neither have the 19 trees transplanted,” the petitioners claimed. They contended that these 54 trees were the only green cover on Peddar Road.

They also stated that the BMC had issued the CC for the project on April 29,2011,without clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority MCZMA that is mandatory in a CRZ II area.

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