In a setback for Shiv Sena, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday stayed the multi-crore beautification work of Shivaji Park Grounds initiated by the saffron party-controlled local civic body.
Construction of a mural -- depicting coronation of Maratha king Shivaji -- on the park, too, have been stayed, in response to a PIL which alleges that contracts were awarded without inviting tenders. The sprawling park in Central Mumbai is the venue of Sena's annual Dussehra rally.
The Sena, which rules the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) in alliance with BJP, conceived the beautification project, which is being bitterly opposed by Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
Dadar, where the park is located, was once a Sena bastion, but in the last Assembly election, MNS candidate won from this constituency.
The PIL by local residents Durgesh Warty and Manoj Govekar alleges contracts for beautification and construction of mural were awarded to Valsons and Karan Builders and Ana Associates respectively without following procedure.
No tenders were invited though the mural is going to cost Rs 1.28 crore, while the entire beautification will cost Rs 3.15 crore, it said. Also, no construction can be carried out on a playground, said petitioners' counsel Girish Godbole.
A Division Bench of Justices F I Rebello and Amjed Sayed stayed the work and sought MCGM reply by May 5.