Floating hotel in Mumbai: High court junks plea for jetty opposite NCPA
Private firm had approached high court challenging an earlier refusal by the HC-appointed committeemumbai Updated: Jan 08, 2018 22:36 IST
Rashmi Developments Private Limited will have to find a new location to build a jetty to ferry passengers to its floatel – floating hotel with five star facilities in the Arabian sea proposed to be anchored two nautical miles off Raj Bhavan — as the Bombay high court on Monday rejected its petition challenging decision of a high court-appointed committee refusing permission for the jetty opposite NCPA, where Marine Drive promenade ends.
The division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice PN Deshmukh rejected petition filed by Rashmi Developments observing that the order passed by the HC-appointed committee was not groundless and was also not based on irrelevant considerations.
The bench also rejected the private firm’s claim that the Western Naval Command and the Coast Guard had accorded their respective no-objection certificates for constructing a floating jetty opposite NCPA at Nariman Point – where the Marine Drive promenade ends. The bench noted that by no stretch of imagination the letters issued by the Western Naval Command and the Coast Guard be treated as NOCs for the floating jetty.
In July 2013, Rashmi Developments has entered into a revenue sharing agreement with the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) for setting up a floatel in Arabian Sea – about two nautical miles off Raj Bhavan. The firm proposed to construct a floating jetty opposite NCPA for carrying persons to and from the floatel.
Apart from the 22-metre-long and 3-metre-wide wide floating jetty, the firm also had plans to construct a waiting area of 200 sq m where it wanted to provide bathroom and toilets for the waiting crowd. Besides, it also wanted to construct a 4-metre-wide and 100-metre-long walkway.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had referred the firm’s proposal for construction of the jetty to the HC-appointed committee comprising the Municipal Commissioner, Commissioner of Police and the Chairman of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee. On May 24, the HC-appointed committee rejected the proposal on the grounds that the jetty will create traffic problems on Marine Drive and will also hamper the ambience of the Marine Drive promenade.
The firm had approached high court challenging this refusal by the HC-appointed committee contending that though it had obtained NOCs and permissions from all concerned authorities, the HC-appointed committee had rejected the proposal on flimsy grounds. Its lawyer, advocate Milan Desai, argued that the HC-appointed committee had no authority to consider its proposal for construction of the floating jetty opposite NCPA.