July 31, 2015 2:09:46 am
The Bombay High Court directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to file a reply to a public interest litigation challenging the permission granted to an open-air gym on the Marine Drive promenade in south Mumbai.
The gym, which has created a controversy, was inaugurated by Shiv Sena youth wing chief Aditya Thackeray. Congress had earlier alleged preferential treatment to the ruling party, Shiv Sena, as opposed to them as they had made a similar demand a few years ago but were denied permission.
The petitioner Vijay Yadav, a businessman, claims that the area — particularly the promenade where the gym stands — is a declared heritage precinct and no construction is permissible there. “The locality and more particularly the area which is a belt of sea, has been declared as heritage and no construction is permitted on the footpath,” the petition states.
Petitioner’s lawyer Ashok Sarogi also mentioned that in 2013 a former Congress MP had been denied permission to put up a gym on the ground that it was a heritage precinct.
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Stating that the area is frequented by morning walkers, the petition stated that the civic body gave permission for the gym to be constructed by D M Fitness for three months, which has links with Shiv Sena.
The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shahand Justice A K Menon directed the civic body to file reply by August 6.
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