A study and Vipasana centre constructed using MLA funds in a municipal garden in Dhobi Talao has come under the Bombay high court scanner after the court on Tuesday sought explanation from the civic body as to how it granted permission even though the plot is in a coastal regulation zone that required permission from the ministry of environment.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the Cinema Barrack Road Welfare Group (CBWG), a local residents body, stating that despite having adopted the Walter D’Souza garden, the BMC did not consult them before allowing the construction of the 2,200 square feet centre at the instance of local legislator Annie Shekhar.
A division bench of justice DD Sinha and justice VK Tahilramani said that even if the project is meant for a public cause, it cannot be constructed without getting the requisite permissions.
Petitioners also pointed out that there is a circular which specifically disallows any construction on garden plots, if they are under adoption. Petitioners’ lawyers Gautam Ankhad and Viral Shukla pointed out that there is a BMC policy which says that construction shall not be carried out on gardens and recreational grounds by using MLA funds. Petitioners also alleged that the architect for constructing the centre was chosen at the instance of the MLA when the NOC for constructing the centre was actually granted to Mhada by the corporation. The court has adjourned the hearing for three weeks.