Mumbai police and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are in disagreement about the security of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) refinery, located in Mahul-Chembur.
The police have opposed construction of a multi-storey building near the refinery, citing security threats. However, the BMC has shrugged aside the concerns, saying: “Nothing is going to happen, we are safe.”
BPCL had earlier approached the high court expressing concern about upcoming constructions in its vicinity, which pose possible threats to the refinery. The firm had objected to the construction of a 13-storey building ‘Mamatadeep Heights’, which is just 33 meters from the compound wall of the refinery.
BPCL’s petition with the high court states that the Ministry of Home Affairs listed the refinery under the ‘A’ category for security. At present, there are no multi-storey buildings around the refinery.
Dilip Sawant, DCP zone VI, had filed an affidavit confirming the security concerns. His affidavit states: “I think that the said 13-storey building will pose a security threat to the petitioner's installation (refinery), which are of national importance and as such it would not be desirable to have such a multi-storied building in the close vicinity of the refinery.”
When the division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Mridula Bhatkar questioned the corporation (BMC), it said that there was nothing to worry about. The court has now sought help from the advocate general Ravi Kadam. K. K. Singhvi, counsel for BMC, argued on Friday that there were no such threats to the refinery with the upcoming constructions around it. He said, “That way, the whole world is not secure. Where should we go then?”
M.M. Vashi, counsel for the developers, have also opposed the petition, saying that the BPCL could approach the government and get it declared as “No Development Zone”. “The government has termed it as residential zone,” said Vashi. Earlier, the HC had dismissed similar petition by BPCL but directed the government to look in to the security perception around the refinery. The court will hear the case in January.