Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Tuesday allowed the petition filed by members of the Catholic community and increased the area from 4,000 sq metres to 15,000 sq metres to be used by them at Girgaum Chowpatty for hosting pre-Christmas celebrations.
The petition was filed as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had allotted them only 4,000 sq metre space, which was much lesser than the last few years’ allotments.
“We are thankful to the court that it has considered our application and granted us an increased area for the programme,” said Abraham Mathai chairman of Prabhu Yeshu Janmotsav, which organises the programme.
Mr Mathai also said that in June 2018, the HC while hearing a petition had ordered that 4,100 square metre area should be granted for this programme.
“We were not aware of this order, as we were not a party to that petition. Now there was too little time to file a review petition in this regard and hence we filed this petition to get more area for the programme this year. We would be filing a review petition soon,” Mr Mathai added.
According to Mr Mathai in the past they used to get more than 20,000 square metres of space for the programme because a huge number of people attended the programme and 4,100 square metre is too short for this programme.
The petitioner’s lawyers Mihir Desai and Soli Co-oper contended before the court that this progra-mme was not like other events being organised on the beach.
They assured that this event will not cause any damage to the environment and it will not cause any obstruction or inconvenience to the beach visitors.
The division bench headed by Justice Ranjeet More directed the Girgaum Chowpatty high power committee, the collector and the BMC to allow the Catholic community to use 15,000 square metres of space on the beach for their annual Birth of Christ celebration programme.
The programme is being organised at Girgaum Chowpatty since last 53 years and is slated to be held on December 16 this year.