In a petition filed by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) challenging the construction of an eighteen-storey highrise in the heritage Khotachiwadi precinct,the developer’s counsel Prasad Dhakephalkar told the Bombay High Court that if INTACH’s contention is accepted,there can be no redevelopment in the precinct.
The petition filed by INTACH had opposed the construction of the stilt-plus-eighteen storey building,under construction by Deekay Realtors,on a road 9 m wide. Arguing for INTACH,senior counsel Shiraz Rustomji said the construction of the building had raised questions over access for emergency vehicles such as fire engines on the narrow road as well as that of conservation of heritage.
Rustomji also pointed out that the necessary sanctions from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee were not obtained by the developers and the permissions for construction of the building were granted by BMC in a casual and cavalier manner. INTACH stated that the rules required at least 9 m of space on the sides of the building.
Dakephalkar said,If accepted (INTACH’s argument),then there will be no development. Citing an example of another construction within the Khotachiwadi precinct,Dhakephalkar said,In the Khotachiwadi lane,the width (of a road) was less and after development the width was more.
Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel said that the questions raised in the petition needed the court’s consideration and adjourned the case for hearing
on November 19.