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Residents, Mumbai civic body at loggerheads over ‘green’ fire station inside Priyadarshini Park

Mumbai city news: While the BMC says it will build the structure using bamboo and plat trees near it, locals ask why not use the adjacent plot

mumbai Updated: Jun 20, 2017 10:47 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,eco-friendly,fire station
An artist’s impression of the eco-friendly fire station.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to construct its first green building in the city.

After the Bombay high court on Monday allowed the civic body to keep the fire engine it has stationed at Priyadarshini Park, the civic body had decide to build an eco-friendly fire station inside the park.

“The green fire station will have a bamboo cladding and trees and creepers will be planted around it,” said IA Kundan, additional municipal commissioner.

But the major hurdle before the BMC for executing the plan is to get complete possession of the park. The civic body is locked in a legal battle with the locals over building the fire station inside the park.

In December 2016, the BMC had issued a notice to the Malabar Hill Citizens’ Forum (MHCF). The civic body had then alleged violation of the open space adoption policy by the forum. Earlier this year, a fresh notice was issued and the municipal commissioner ordered civic authorities to take possession of the park in April.

However, the forum moved court against the civic body and filed a fresh plea after its members spotted a fire engine inside the park. As per the 1991 development plan (DP), the civic body had reserved 5,000 square meters in the park to construct a fire station. This reservation was carried forward to the 2034 DP as well.The park is spread over 65,000 square metres.

“I understand and agree that we need a fire station in the area, but why does the BMC wants to destroy a park for it? There is another plot next to the park. Why can’t the civic body built a fire station there?” said Susiieben Shah from MHCF.

As per the Standing Fire Advisory Council (SFAC) guidelines, one fire station should be made available for every 10.36 square kilometer. At present, BMC has 34 fire stations across Mumbai and wants to build 17 mini fire stations.

“The Nepean Sea Road and Pedder Road areas do not have a fire station. Considering the time taken to rush fire tenders from other areas, we need a fire station in that locality,” said chief fire officer PS Rahangdale.

During a previous hearing, a division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Vibha Kankanwadi had asked the BMC to refrain from taking possession of the park until July 27.

First Published: Jun 20, 2017 10:47 IST