Mumbai may lose Nariman Point garden to BJP headquarters | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai may lose Nariman Point garden to BJP headquarters

A 10,000-square feet open space plot at Nariman Point, where the BJP’s state headquarters stand, could be de-reserved by the civic body, which has proposed the land be allowed for commercial use.

mumbai Updated: Feb 20, 2015 15:39 IST
Kunal Purohit

A 10,000-square feet open space plot at Nariman Point, where the BJP’s state headquarters stand, could be de-reserved by the civic body, which has proposed the land be allowed for commercial use.

In April 2013, the BMC had served the BJP a notice for unauthorised construction on the plot. If the de-reservation goes through, the structure may get regularised, while the city will lose out on another green space.

The BMC’s move comes even though resident groups have filed a petition in the Bombay high court (HC) asking for the open space to be reclaimed for public use by evicting the offices of political parties such as the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular).

In June 2013, HT had reported that residents found the BJP had made illegal alterations and additions to their office. The PWD, which owns the land, said it will open the rest of the garden up for residents.

But in the draft development plan the BMC released on Monday, it sought to de-reserve the space — Jawaharlal Nehru garden. When the civic body had served the party with a show-cause notice in 2013 over the construction, the BJP proposed that the civic body regularises it.

The garden has been marked as a recreational ground ever since the city’s first development plan in 1967 . In the 1980s, the PWD allotted it on a temporary basis to the two parties. Later, some of the area was also allotted to the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). In the new DP, the BMC said it plans to lower open spaces standards in the city, because of paucity of land.

“While the report claims there are few open spaces in the city, it [civic body] is trying to subvert even the existing open spaces by de-reserving them. This is extremely condemnable,” said Pankaj Joshi, executive director of the Urban Design Research Institute.

Locals are shocked at the de-reservation. “This is a devious way adopted by the ruling party to ensure their illegalities are legalised. This is very shocking,” said Nayana Kathpalia, an open spaces crusader and a trustee with NAGAR.

BMC chief Sitaram Kunte said he would comment on the matter later.City may lose Nariman Point garden to BJP headquarters.