Clearing the decks for the international Grand Prix powerboat racing, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday has granted permission to conduct the event. The race is scheduled to take place from March 3 in the city.
The division bench presided over by Justice Vidyasagar Kanade and Justice Pukhraj Bora came down heavily on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). This comes because the government as well as the civic body had stopped the press launch of the event in February. The authorities had cited ‘non payment of dues’ as a reason for their action.
While slamming Fadnavis, Justice Kanade said, “The Chief Minister speaks of globalisation. His claims of the ‘Make in India’ initiatives would mean nothing if he fails to rise above such petty issues.” The bench also rapped the BMC for its ‘apprehension’ over the temporary structures that are to be constructed near Girgaum Chowpatty.
Justice Kanade said, “We fail to understand that even if the entire city is hosting thousands of illegal constructions, the Corporation has realised its duty only during this event. It appears that the temporary structures of this event have made the BMC conscious about its responsibilities.”
The organisers of the event were denied permission to conduct their event at Girgaum Chowpatty by the high-power committee that monitors events and construction at Chowpatty.
Referring to the Committee’s decision, Justice Kanade said, “The Committee is an independent body and the state has nothing to do with it. If the state had its own confusions, it could have approached us. I am shocked by the approach of the CM’s conduct and the way he functions.”
The bench also said that it would not allow the city to be deprived of such an international event which can generate tourism.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Procam International Pvt Ltd, an international sporting events company. Procam is the organizer of this motorboat race among seven teams along a 5.2-km course off the Marine Drive bay.
The firm was denied permission owing to its proposal of constructing a temporary jetty in the sea for the three days (March 3-5), along with a few tents, which will provide medical aid on the beach.