The Maharashtra government will have to find an alternate place for holding a cultural function, which is part of the “Make in India Week”, as the Bombay high court on Thursday rejected the government’s plea seeking permission to hold the event at Girgaum Chowpatty.
Granting permission to hold this function on the beach will open gates for private parties as well, said the division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice CV Bhadang, while rejecting the state government’s plea seeking permission to hold the cultural event at Girgaum Chowpatty on February 14.
Urging the court to grant the state government to hold the cultural event at Girgaum Chowpatty, advocate general Shihari Aney submitted a chart of the function that slotted space for a stage, green rooms, music system and washrooms and said it would take up space up to 2,00,000 square feet.
Aney said the function will only be held for four hours in the evening and the beach will be open for the public at large. He said the Prime Minister and 57 foreign dignitaries will be present for the event and the picturesque skyline of the Marine drive will be the most-suitable location for the programme.
Presence of foreign dignitaries does not make out a case for treating this on a par with a function to celebrate statehood, said the judges and rejected the plea. They were referring to the advocate general’s contention that the court had earlier granted permission to the state to hold the first and last day of a function to celebrate 50 years of statehood at Girgaum Chowpatty.
The court pointed out that a monitoring committee appointed by the high court has framed guidelines that allow only immersion of Ganesh and Durga idols at the beach, and no other programme is allowed.
“Except activities mentioned in the guidelines, no other events should be held at the beach and it should always be left open for the public,” it added.
“Make in India” week is scheduled to be held in Mumbai between February 13 and February 18 and is organised to promote India as an investment destination and increase its share in the global foreign direct investment. Apart from the state government, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and various other government agencies like Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) have planned a host of activities over the week.