By: Express News Service

| Mumbai |

Published: May 4, 2018 2:39:40 am
Is BPT land available for new HC building: Bombay High Court asks Centre Court was hearing a PIL seeking directions to the government to construct a new HC building due to paucity of space in the current Grade-I heritage structure in Fort area. (Express File Photo)

The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Central Government to consider if Bombay Port Trust (BPT) land was available for construction of a new High Court building. The court also directed the Chief Secretary to file an affidavit in the matter by June 11. The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by advocate Ahmed Abdi, seeking directions to the government to have a new HC building due to paucity of space in the current Grade I heritage structure in Fort area. The court on August 9, 2016, had directed the state government to make a statement on total area that would be made available for construction of a new high court complex along with details on extent of FSI available, restriction on construction of numbers of floors.

A division bench of Justice A S Oka and Justice R I Chagla said the government had failed to comply with the orders of the court. The court said the affidavit only says that the government has planned a “modern, multi-storey building” for the high court in Bandra. However, it wanted to know details on how much area would be allotted for the building, said the court, adding that if the approach of the state government will be the same, then a new high court building appears to be a “distant dream”. The bench also said the state government was obligated to find a land and construct new high court building.

An affidavit was submitted by Avinash Dhondge, Deputy Secretary, Public Works Department, stating that for the new building, the high court administration has conveyed a requirement of around 25.93 lakh sq ft build up area. The requirement included 15.54 lakh sq ft area for the main high court building, 23,200 sq ft for Chief Justice’s residence, 4.27 lakh sq ft for residential complex for 75 high court judges and servant quarters, 1.77 lakh sq ft for residential complex for office staff, 1.66 lakh sq ft for different bar associations, and 2.43 lakh sq ft for future enhancement.

The affidavit said the project of redevelopment of Bandra Colony is proposed to be implemented through external financial assistance. The state government informed the court that the new building will be incorporated in the redevelopment of Bandra Colony, spread across 30.70 hectares. The Republic of Korea has been approached for soft loan Economic Development Cooperation Fund for the redevelopment of Bandra Colony.

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