Mumbai: Residents Protest Against Shivaji Park Gymkhana Redevelopment Amid Allegations Of BMC Directive Violations

Mumbai: Residents Protest Against Shivaji Park Gymkhana Redevelopment Amid Allegations Of BMC Directive Violations

Both the Shivaji Park Residents' Association and the Shivaji Park Dadar Senior Citizen Forum are actively opposing the on- going construction activities at SPG.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Monday, April 01, 2024, 11:27 AM IST
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People living near Chhatrap- ati Shivaji Maharaj Park, Dadar have initiated protests against the redevelopment endeavors of the Shivaji Park Gymkhana (SPG), alleging transgressions of BMC directives concerning construction regulations. The residents assert that the club has made multiple attempts to encroach upon the ground. Both the Shivaji Park Residents' Association and the Shivaji Park Dadar Senior Citizen Forum are actively opposing the on- going construction activities at SPG.

Shivaji Park holds signifi cant historical significance within Mumbai, Revered as the birthplace of Indian cricket, it serves as the nurturing ground for numerous cricket academies, including those established by the late Anna Vaidya and Ramakant Acharekar: The SPG structure, nestled within the Shivaji Park ground, holds the prestigious grade-1 designation in the notified heritage list of G/N ward. Prakash Belawade, member of Shivaji Park Residents' Association said, "We are op posing the ongoing construction because along with SPG there are many other vacant land tenants who will also start seeking permissions to change its structure and others will also demand the same, which in the end will leave no space for the ground from outer side and the ground will be covered by all these private clubs only SPG tried to encroach the nearby area, we stopped them many times.

In response to this, Sanjeev Khanolkar, General Secretary of Shivaji Park Gymkhana said, "The structure of SPG is 114-years-old. We are demolishing the structure in parts as the slabs and columns need repair. This is necessary maintenance work we are undertaking. We aim to provide excellent service to our patrons. Rest assured, we have obtained all required permissions from BMC G/North ward. We have adhered to all norms and have not encroached even a foot."

"Shivaji Park is a place where sports should be a priority. We are fighting to preserve spaces within the grounds for kids to play. The SPG had permissions only for renovation, so it's concerning how the entire structure was demolished. If the SPG had all necessary permissions, why is construction primarily happening at night?", said Madhukar Prabhu, Member of Shivaji Park Dadar Senior Citizen Forum

How is BMC allowing SPG to build a new structure and how did BMC give per mission for the demolition? If the clubs keep doing this, Shivaji Park will only be a place for paid activities, common people will not have any place to play"

While the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee has issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the modification and strengthening of the existing SPG structure from a heritage perspective, residents question the necessity of the complete demolition and whether expert structural consultants were consulted in the process.

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