While the Bombay high court cleared the powerboat race on Wednesday, a committee appointed by the court denied permission for temporary structures to be built at Marine Drive for the event. The committee comprises the municipal commissioner, commissioner of police and heritage committee chairman.
A source said, “The committee was of the opinion that if this event was allowed, there could be demands for many other events on the promenade, which would restrict pedestrian movement.”
The proposed temporary structures include a jetty, a stage and tents for medical aid. The high court on Wednesday allowed the organisers, Procam International Pvt Ltd, to build a jetty but the committee denied them permission to build other structures along Marine Drive.
The committee heard a presentation by Procam, which is organising the event with the Maharashtra government. Sources said it objected to temporary structures and LED screens on Marine Drive, saying they would restrict walking space on the promenade and cause traffic problems.
The committee was mum on proposed temporary structures at Girgaum Chowpatty.
Arvind Reddy, an IAS officer co-ordinating the event, said, “We made a presentation to BMC but we have not been told about their decision. We are positive about the outcome because we have reduced the number of structures and they will not restrict movement.”
Reddy added that the organisers needed space on the promenade for camera stands and medical facilities, among other things.
This is not the first time that Procam and the BMC have clashed. Last month, the civic body refused them permission for a press conference on the race at Gateway of India. Earlier, it had sent Procam, which also organises the Mumbai marathon, a bill for Rs2.74 crore in ‘unpaid advertising charges’ for the event in January, saying it would not allow the company to organise other events in Mumbai until it paid up.