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HC permits power boat race event in Mumbai, raps government

The Bombay High Court gave its nod to an international power boat racing event slated to be held in the city later this week and said the Maharashtra government should rise above petty disputes and encourage such events.

A division bench of justices V M Kanade and P R Bora was hearing a plea filed by sporting events company Procam International Pvt Ltd, which is organising the motorboat race from March 3 to 5 among seven teams along a 5.2-km course off the Marine Drive bay in south Mumbai.

The company needs to construct a temporary jetty or pathway in the sea for the event, and some tents or portable cabins on the beach for providing medical aid.

The firm approached the high court after the city collector and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations high power committee, which monitors events and constructions at Girgaum Chowpatty, refused to grant permission for the event.

The company told the court today that it had permissions from the Indian Navy and maritime authorities.

The court, while allowing the petition, permitted the company to construct the temporary structure.

It also said that after the event, the company shall remove the structure in two days.

The high court, after hearing the arguments, rapped the authorities and said, “We would want to know from the chief minister of Maharashtra what was the use of his claims of globalisation and Make in India campaigns if his government fails to rise above petty disputes even when an international event of such stature is concerned.”

Reprimanding the civic body, Justice Kanade said, “The whole of Mumbai hosts extensive unauthorised construction. But one international event and the construction of a temporary structure for just about two days is making the BMC suddenly very conscious of its responsibilities.”

The court asked the government why should it deprive Mumbai of such an event which is likely to generate tourism.

“The collector and even the chief minister’s conduct is shocking. Even the government of India proposes to construct various sites along the coastline to attract tourists. A reputed event like the one in question will not damage Chowpatty and instead help tourism,” the bench said.

The government should take advantage of the beautiful coastline of Maharashtra, the judges further said.

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