The Bombay high court (HC), on Wednesday, dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the validity of concessions granted for reconstruction of a building for the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS).
The Gulmohar Area Societies Welfare Group, comprising residents from the locality, had filed the PIL challenging the grant of permission for the three-level basement and concessions in mandatory open spaces. The group had also expressed an apprehension that the trust would use the refuge area constructed on each floor for building more classrooms, instead of leaving it open from three sides as stipulated by law.
The division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Niteen Jamdar, however, dismissed the apprehension after the counsel for the trust, Prasad Dhakephalkar, stated that the area would not be converted into classrooms in future. The judges also took note of BMC counsel Geeta Jogalekar’s submission that the area of one of the two levels of the basement had been calculated in the FSI utilised in reconstruction of the building.
Counsel for the petitioner Janak Dwarkadas contended that only because the area of the basement is not calculated in the total FSI, three basement floors were being allowed. He pointed out that only two basement floors are permitted under the development control regulations (DCR).
The petitioners had claimed that the college building had used up close to twice the FSI that was permitted, resulting in lesser marginal areas around the building. According to them, the trust had left only 3.9m open space on one side of the new college building instead of the mandatory 6m on all sides.
Dhakephalkar pointed out that the concessions were approved by the civic commissioner taking the specific restraints with respect to the plot into account. He pointed out that with the college being close to the flying zone for the international airport, they were compelled to limit the height of the building and therefore horizontal expansion had to be made.