Hearing a plea filed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Bombay high court (HC), on Thursday, declared that the civic body can use Shivaji Park on the fifth, sixth and eleventh day of Ganesh immersions to park vehicles.
The division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice RP Sondurbaldota granted the permission as the civic body stated that no alternative arrangement for parking is possible in the area.
The plea was necessitated owing to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a local body in 2009 in which the HC had taken a stern view of the use of the ground for non-sporting activities such as political rallies and various other cultural and commercial events.
Veckom Trust and two locals -- Sharad Dixit and JD Udeshi -- both members of the advanced locality management (ALM) of the BMC, had moved the high court in 2009 contending that in the development plan, Shivaji Park had been reserved exclusively for sporting activities and hence cannot be used for any other purpose.
Citing nuisance caused to the local residents due to political rallies and other non-sporting activities permitted by the BMC on the ground, they had also sought Shivaji Park to be declared as a silent zone.
During the course of hearing on the trust’s PIL, a dispute had arisen about the status of the ground. While the petitioners maintained that it was a playground, the BMC took a stand that it was a recreational ground.
Later, the state government also clarified that Shivaji Park was a recreational ground and not a playground and thereby no restrictions could be imposed on allowing non-sporting activities on the ground.