The municipal corporation’s plan to widen Hazrimal Somani Marg has led to a tussle with the Bombay Gymkhana club. The 141-year-old elite club will have to part with 3,000 square metres of land for the road-widening work, which includes part of the CEO’s bungalow.
Earlier, the gymkhana had said the club premises are Grade II heritage structure and that it should be preserved.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has clarified that the CEO’s bungalow on the premises is not a Grade II heritage structure.
“The club premises are a heritage structure but we have no record listing the bungalow to be one. We need a portion of the gymkhana land for the road-widening work and we have already asked the collector for it,” said a senior civic official on condition of anonymity.
The gymkhana officials refused to comment.
Grade II comprises buildings and precincts with regional or local importance and special architectural significance. Repairs are only allowed if it is absolutely necessary and should not harm the historical significance of the structure.
The civic body has also alleged the gymkhana has flouted the agreement rules.
As per the earlier agreement with the gymkhana, 20% parking space on MG Road should be reserved for citizens who are not club members.
The agreement, that had granted special parking permission to members of the Bombay Gymkhana on the footpath of MG Road, expired on July 15 this year. The extension of permission was given on a quarterly basis or biannually for over a decade. However, this time, the Bombay Gymkhana had reportedly asked for extension for a year. The BMC refused and has planned to move hawkers on the stretch.
The Bombay Gymkhana used to pay around Rs36 lakh to the BMC every year for using the space.
Even before the go-ahead from the collector, the BMC has already started the tendering process for the road-widening work. It recently surveyed the gymkhana premises to measure the land they wanted to acquire.