After fighting against the municipal corporation’s decision to allow cutting of 54 trees to make way for the National Museum of Indian Cinema, the Peddar Road Residents’ Association wants the museum site to be shifted.
The residents met V. Packirisamy, director of Films Division, on Thursday and suggested to shift the project to Goregaon, where Film City is located. “The Film City at Goregaon is an integral part of the film industry. We are happy about the project, but if it is planned there, people can visit the film studios and museum together,” said Veena Singhal, chairperson of the residents’ association.
The association is concerned about the traffic situation, which is expected to grow on the already congested road after the museum comes up. “Around 2 lakh vehicles use Peddar Road every day. Also, there is hardly any space for so many vehicles to enter and exit from the Films Division gate,” said Singhal.
But the Films Division authorities said that they are prepared to tackle the situation. “We expect around 1,000-2,000 visitors per day in the museum and accordingly are planning an underground two-level car park for around 150 cars,” said Packirisamy.
The National Museum of Indian Cinema is the first-of-its-kind project in south Asia, which will be built on the Films Division premises on Peddar Road. The museum is expected to be ready by 2013 to mark the 100th year of Indian Cinema by the ministry of information and broadcasting. However, the project has still not got the approval for construction from the municipal corporation.
Questioning the cutting of trees before acquiring permission for construction, Sandeep Parekh, member of the association, said: “Without the approval for construction, 45 trees have already been cut. But if no permission is granted, the trees have been cut in vain. Also, these trees were to be replanted in 15 days, but they haven’t transplanted them yet.”
Packirisamy said: “We are pursuing the permission and are positive about it. We appreciate the residents’ concern, but the union ministry is implementing the project and so we have to do it.”
He added that the process of transplanting the trees is on.