South Mumbai’s Bombay Gymkhana may need to forego some of its land, with the Maharashtra government on Tuesday granting its final nod to the much-delayed proposal of widening the adjacent road.
One of the oldest gymkhanas in India and a premier sports club, Bombay Gymkhana has been locked in a bitter battle with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) over the widening of the Hazarimal Somani Marg, which connects Fashion Street to CST.
Close on heels of an altercation between the club’s management and the state’s bureaucracy over the grant of membership to bureaucrats, the BMC had first proposed shrinking of the gymkhana’s compound to increase the road’s width from 60 feet to 80 feet in 2016. This was later included in the Mumbai’s new Development Plan (DP) despite resistance from the club.
Just as the new DP (DCPR-2034) came into force on September 1, 2018, then Devendra Fadnavis government, while backing the suggested modification, had separately notified it as one of the 2,000-odd changes suggested to the draft DP that involved “substantial” changes to land use and FSI.
The state had then notified these as “excluded part (EP)” of the DP, inviting suggestions and objections from the public on these.
On Tuesday, the road widening proposal was one of the 349 proposals from the EP that were sanctioned by the Shiv Sena-controlled urban development department.
With the road leading to the CST railway station, the BMC has proposed broadening of the pedestrian pathways along the road for better management of the “heavy” pedestrian traffic.
Meanwhile, in another proposal, the government has deleted from the DP a reservation proposed previously for construction of an additional arm of the Mumbai coastal road project near Priyadarshini Park. “The additional arm was not a part of the final road alignment. Hence, the reservation is deleted,” an official said.
A total of 355 EP proposals, mostly related to land use changes in the island city of Mumbai, were considered for approval. Of these, the state government on Tuesday refused sanction to six, clearing the remaining. Of these, 273 proposals were from the island city. As per prevalent rules, the modifications will come into force a month from now. In the coming days, more EP proposals are likely to be cleared, an official said.
Bhushan Gagrani, Principal Secretary (Urban Development), said: “We will like the finish the process as soon as possible.”
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