CST cleanup drive held as BMC & Bombay Gymkhana fight over 37 meters parking space

CST cleanup drive held as BMC & Bombay Gymkhana fight over 37 meters parking space
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The clean-up drive outside city’s iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station has been held up for weeks over 37 meters of parking space.

The two parties involved in a scuffle over the space are the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Bombay Gymkhana. The BMC wants to shift hawkers outside the station premises and relocate some of them to MG Road, something the gymkhana has strongly opposed as it takes away the parking spots of a few members.

Earlier this year, the ministry of water and sanitation announced a cleanliness drive as part of its Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at over 100 spiritual and heritage sites. To start off, 10 iconic locations around the country, including Taj Mahal, Ajmer Sharif dargah and CST, were handpicked. All of them were to be developed and maintained per the global standards.

For CST, which has been classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site, the civic body wanted to first relocate 39 stalls of hawkers to the pavement on MG Road. Following which, it wanted to conduct a cleanup drive outside the premises. Under the plan, the BMC also proposed to increase the cleaning shifts from two to three per day.

But, the Bombay Gymkhana has opposed the shifting of hawkers to MG Road pavement as it would take away 37 metres of parking space, currently reserved for its members. According to a member of the gymkhana aware of the development, the management has no plans of letting the space go and plans to fight tooth and nail with the civic body.

Meanwhile, the parking permission given to the gymkhana expired on July 15 and has not been renewed. The officials are now waiting for the BMC chief Ajoy Mehta, who has already been apprised of the situation, to visit the place and give a go ahead. Once Mehta approves, the hawkers will be asked to relocate to MG Road immediately.

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