The Bombay High Court's stay on the multi-crore-beautification work at the Shivaji Park has invoked mixed reactions from residents and visitors.
Ashok Rawat, resident of Shivaji Park and member of the Shivaji Park Bachao movement said the stay was welcome only if it
stays the last stage of constructing the mural.
"If the SC stay is on the construction of the smarak then it is very welcome. Work on the first two stages is partially completed and stalling this will make it inconvenient," he said.
The beautification plan included the construction of a mural depicting the coronation of the Maratha warrior king Shivaji.
Local residents had filed a petition saying the construction was unwanted and the agency was awarded the work without inviting tenders.
Neelam Mouji, a resident of Dadar and a frequent visitor at Shivaji Park, agreed with Ravat pointing out the wall is unnecessary.
"The wall that is being constructed at the entrance is inconvenient because it reduces the size of the entrance," she said.
S.S. Vaze, a resident of Shivaji Park however does not support the stay. "The wall is a monument that represents the history of a great emperor and so I do not think it is inappropriate," he said.
The Shiv Sena was bitter in its reaction.
"We fully respect the high court orders on Shivaji Park beautification, but it is sad that such a thing has happened on the eve of golden jubilee of Maharashtra and that a Marathi manoos has gone against it. He seems to be a descendent of Aurangzeb himself. This is an insult not only of Maharashtra, but also of Chhatrapati Shivaji," Shiv Sena MP and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut said.
Nitin Sardesai, MNS legislator, called it a victory of the locals. "Today the people's faith in the judiciary has increased and people are happy," said Sardesai. He blamed the Shiv Sena for trying to politicise the issue.
"We never made it a political issue and I even called an all party meeting to iron out the issues but they (Shiv Sena) disrupted it," he said.
Sardesai added that the entire project was controversial — right from not calling tenders to constructing murals that will obstruct the gates.