Free Press Journal

Mumbai: Fire brigade wants park land for fire station, Shiv Sena MP opposes


Mumbai: South Mumbai’s elite playground, Priyadarshani Park (PDP) on Napean Sea Road, has attracted controversy. It seems BMC is not sparing any of the clubs and park organisations.

PDP, as it is popularly known, now has the Shiv Sena Member of Parliament (MP) Arvind Sawant up in arms against the fire station which has been given permission by Bombay High Court (HC) to take back the land.

Sawant, who has contributed for its upkeep from the MP fund, is opposed to this move. “I am associated with this beautiful park since long. I have spent around Rs 30 lakh for the beautification of this park from my MP fund. The park will lose its charm if fire engines are allowed on the jogging park.”

He added he will meet the civic chief to resolve the issue. There is vacant land of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) in the vicinity which could be utilised for the fire station, he said. However, Ajoy Mehta, BMC commissioner, didn’t agree.

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“I spoke to Ajoy Mehta to consider the MSRDC land but he told me that the Bandra Worli sea link future project is likely to go through the park; so it cannot be used. But I am firm the PDP should be preserved,” said Sawant.

Chief Fire Officer Prabhat Rahangdale questioned why there cannot be a fire station when it is reserved for in the city Development Plan too. “The city needs more than 56 fire stations as per the study by the Standing Fire Advisory Council. Currently, the city has only 34. We need more fire stations in the city to cope with emergencies so that rescue teams reach on time.”

He said PDP will have straight access to coastal road which will bring connectivity to the north and south of the city.