The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Council (BMC) to give a fair hearing to Procam International, the organiser of the powerboat race scheduled in the city between March 3 and March 5, over the construction of temporary structures along Marine Drive.
Procam had approached the HC with a plea seeking its intervention, after the corporation had denied it permission to put up structures along the promenade. The organisers had cited a previous order of another bench of the court that directed a committee to allow some temporary structures to be built at the Girgaum Chowpatty for the event.
The corporation through its advocate, Anil Sakhare, argued that the promenade was a heritage area and it could not allow the construction of a stage or a temporary food stall that Procam was seeking. The BMC also said it was unwilling to consider Procam’s request as the company was yet to clear dues of over Rs2 crore from the time it organised a marathon event in the city in June last year.
Procam, however, argued that the dues were from another event and because it was willing to look into it, the corporation must be directed to not link the two events.
At this, the bench said that the corporation must not link both events while considering Procam’s request and that it “must not reject” Procam’s application “on the ground that it has not paid its dues from the marathon event.”
On Wednesday, another bench of the high court had rapped both the corporation and the state government for delaying permissions for the event, holding that the nature of the proposed construction was only temporary and that Procam had undertaken to dismantle the same within 48 hours after the event, without causing any damage to the sea or the beachfront. The bench had at the time asked why must “Mumbai be deprived of such an event?”
However, in a letter to Procam International on Thursday, following the court hearing, BMC denied permission for any temporary structures or advertisements to be built on Marine Drive promenade starting Friday.”