Restore north-end of Mumbai’s Girgaum Chowpatty, court tells state
The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the state government to repair and restore the Walkeshwar Road-end of Girgaum Chowpatty beach – which was under the threat of soil erosion – within two months.
A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice PN Deshmukh issued the directive in view of a report submitted by a HC-appointed monitoring committee in February.
In its report, the committee had expressed a threat of soil erosion to the northern end of the beach.
It stated that water was almost touching the road towards Walkeshwar Road-end and also expressed apprehension that this would cause soil erosion in other parts of the beach.
On Thursday, the bench also directed that the three religious programs permitted on the beach – Ram Leela, Krishna Leela and Christmas – be restricted to a designated 45,000 square feet-patch and no deviation shall be permitted without an express permission of the HC.
The bench also directed the Mumbai city collector to demolish all encroachments on the beach and those behind the Birla Kala Kendra as soon as possible by July 31.
The state has been further directed to ensure that the Chhoti Chowpatty part of the beach be cleared by the month-end.
The court was hearing a plea filed by the HC-appointed monitoring committee in a petition originally filed by Adarsh Chowpatty Pragati Mandal, an organisation of owners of food stalls which dotted the beach at one time.
They had mainly approached the HC seeking renewal of their street vending licences and protection from eviction.