Is Shivaji Park a park or a recreation ground?
While the BMC's garden department asserts that Shivaji Park falls under the category of parks and can host political rallies like the Shiv Sena's Dussehra rally, members of the civic development plan department insist that it is a recreation ground and cannot host the same
There seems to be raging confusion within the BMC about the status accorded by it to Shivaji Park.
According to officials of the BMC’s garden department, Shivaji Park falls under the category of parks, and the new policy that restricts commercial or political use of playgrounds (PG) and recreation grounds (RG) does not apply to the Shivaji Park premises. The development plan (DP) department, however, claims that Shivaji Park falls in the RG category.
The Shiv Sena has sought permission to organise its annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park on October 13. The BMC ward office has denied permission for the same, citing the newly framed RG-PG policy.
As per the new policy that was implemented from April 2013, no permission will be granted for political or commercial programmes on gardens, recreation grounds or playgrounds (‘BMC halts Sena’s Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park again,’ MiD DAY, September 25).
Mohan Adtani, who is in charge of the island city zone that stretches from South Mumbai to Sion-Mahim, said, “Shivaji Park has been earmarked a ‘recreation ground’ (RG) as per the DP, so no permission will be given for the political rally. But the major issue is about the silence zone, which is subjudice in the courts. This is also a reason for denial of permission.”
He claimed that there is no category such as ‘park.’
The civic garden department, however, said that the same ground has the status of a ‘park’ and the recently implemented policy cannot be applied to it. “The policy is only applicable for the civic-owned recreation grounds (RG), playgrounds (PG) and gardens, and not other categories like parks or any BMC sports complex.”
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena is preparing to approach the High Court, after being denied permission by the BMC for its traditional rally. “Once we get the green signal from our party chief, we will move court to obtain permission to hold the Dussehra rally on Shivaji Park grounds. We are not looking at any other options to organise the rally, at least as of now,” said advocate Anil Parab, Shiv Sena MLC and a member of rally’s organising committee.