BMC to acquire park land despite protests | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BMC to acquire park land despite protests

Despite stiff opposition from residents, the Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided go ahead with acquiring part of Priyadarshini park for a fire station.

mumbai Updated: Jan 14, 2011 01:27 IST
HT Correspondent

Despite stiff opposition from residents, the Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided go ahead with acquiring part of Priyadarshini park for a fire station.

Of the sprawling 60,000 sq metres of open space, 15,000 sq metres was reserved, in the development plan, for a fire brigade, post office and the approach for the sea link connecting Malabar Hill and Worli. Under this, 6,000 square metres to the north of the park has been reserved for a fire station. The BMC says there is an urgent need for a fire station in the area.

“We will procure the land as it is reserved for a fire station. After applying for all necessary permissions we will begin work as the area needs a fire station urgently,” said additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.

The BMC's fire brigade, building and legal department had a joint meeting on Thursday to check the legal status of the plot. “If we are in possession of the plot, it will not take long to begin construction. The fire station will not occupy the entire park area,” said chief fire officer Uday Tatkare. “Currently, we keep getting calls for minor fire accidents. We have to make proper arrangements in the area in the event of a bigger mishap in the locality. Otherwise, we will be blamed for not constructing the fire station despite having a plot reserved,” he added.

Residents have been opposing the move to build a fire station saying the green patch in the densely populated Malabar Hill area should not be reduced.

Mhaiskar added that apart from the plot inside the park, the BMC would be developing five other plots earmarked for fire stations at Shivaji Park, Dahisar, Kanjurmarg, Bhandup and Andheri.

The city currently has 33 fire stations and nine plots have been earmarked for more. According to international standards, the city needs 112 fire stations or one for every 1.04 km. Of these five plots some are encroached upon. BMC officials believe that Priyadarshini Park will be easy to develop as it is free of encroachments.