"Is there no other plot than SoBo park for fire engine?"

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Times of India | Shibu Thomas | Wednesday, Oct 04, 2017

`Is there no other plot than SoBo park for fire engine?'

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday asked the BMC if it had no other plot in Malabar Hill to temporarily house a fire engine instead of parking it at Priyadarshini Park. The court was hearing a plea by the Malabar Hill Citizen's Forum against the move to put up a temporary structure, station staff and park a fire engine on a portion of the park.

"Why do you want to spoil the decorum of the park? It is the lung space of the city ," asked a division bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Nitin Jamdar.The chief justice also pointed out that after 10pm on a narrow road at Malabar Hill, cars are double and triple parked, leaving little space for other vehicles or emergency vehicles. "Is the corporation not bothered about it?" the bench inquired.

Priyadarshini Park, spread over 65,000 square feet, was set up on reclaimed land after it was handed over to MHCF on an adoption basis in 1985.According to senior advocate Joaquim Reis and advocate Trupti Pura nik, counsel for the BMC, around 4,098.52 sqmt of land occupied by the park is reserved for a fire station in the 1991DP . The 2013-14 DP maintains the reservation.

The HC had on June 5, 2017 dismissed a PIL filed in 2006 by MHCF for want of prosecution and subsequently restored it on June 19. In the meanwhile, between June 5 and June19, the BMC parked a fire engine on a portion of the park. Senior advocate Darius Khambata, counsel for MHCF , said BMC had caused damage to walking tracks and removed benches despite a court order of June 19 to maintain status quo. The forum has urged for removal of the fire engine till the court finally decides on the fate of the land earmarked for the brigade. Advocate Reis said the nearest fire station was at Gowalia Tank, around 4 km away and it had already received around 27 fire calls since June. The forum suggested that the engine be parked on the vacant land adjacent to park that belongs to MSRDC.

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