The Bombay high court on Thursday issued notices to the central and state governments and private parties on a public interest litigation alleging violation of environmental norms and development control regulations (DCR) in the proposed reconstruction of Hotel Sea Rock on the Bandra seaface.
The petition, filed by lawyer and activist Sonia Sood, alleged that transactions between the Indian Hotels Company Limited and Elel Hotels and Investments Private Limited had cost the state government Rs. 1,200 crore in premiums. The petition alleged that the site was actually in the CRZ-I zone and that officials and promoters colluded to show it as partly in CRZ-II zone.
Sood also told a division bench of justice SA Bobde and justice Mridula Bhatkar that the BMC had sanctioned permission for an FSI (floor space index) of 5.5 while the environment ministry had not permitted more than 2.5. She further contended that Vilasrao Deshmukh as chief minister had raised the FSI using discretionary powers under section 10 (2) of the DCR, 1967.
Senior counsel Janak Dwarakadas, appearing for Elel, told the court that no construction was taking place as they were awaiting permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Sood urged the court to examine the legality of all the transactions and to declare illegal the permissions granted by various government departments to the private parties.