At 12.30 pm on Saturday, the Brihanmumbai Corporation (BMC) allegedly landed at Juhu Beach to demolish the base station used by private lifeguard volunteers to house their speedboats, two jet skies and other equipment. That too, a day after Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu, along with Advocate Naresh Dahibawkar, President of Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti and Ramesh Pawar, assistant municipal commissioner, K West, visited the beach for inspection. Prabhu instructed Pawar to provide a shamiana on the beach, as the lifeguards have no place to keep watch.
“Instead of bringing the shamiana equipment, the BMC officials landed at the beach with a bulldozer to demolish our existing base station, which is built on Airport Authorities of India (AAI) land after obtaining the necessary permissions,” said Neville David, president of Juhu Beach Lifeguard Association (JBLA). The station has been operating out of a temporary structure outside Ramada Inn Palm Grove Hotel since 2006.
Dahibawkar has written a letter to the BMC recommending the work and capabilities of Juhu Beach Lifeguard Association. It took a call from MP Gurudas Kamath to stop the demolition. Gurudas Kamath said, “I received a call from the from the JBLA and when I called up the BMC, I was assured that an alternate arrangement would be made to keep their equipment. They will not be evacuated.”
However, Pawar denied that his team or bulldozers had been dispatched to the site for demolition. “We only wanted to clean the area around the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji,” he said.