The Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court Thursday that approval for construction of a drive-in theatre and other commercial structures on a plot of land in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) here was legal.
The affidavit, filed by the revenue department, also denied an allegation in the PIL that commercial development has been allowed in a mangrove buffer zone.
Later, the floor space index (FSI, the construction permitted per square metre of land), was increased illegally and construction of a shopping complex, a hotel, and offices was also allowed, said his lawyer Aditya Pratap.
The project will now be spread over 80,800 sq metres and encroach on a part of mangrove buffer zone, he said.
The government and the private agency which is constructing the theatre and other commercial structures denied the allegations.
The land was leased for commercial development in 1969 through a transparent and legal tender process, they said.
The state government said in the affidavit that in 1993, it legally amended the rules to permit "50 per cent additional commercial redevelopment" on this land, so the proposed construction will be legal.
However, advocate Pratap urged the court to direct the government to take back the land and allot it for the construction of a new building for the high court.
The bench asked him to file a reply to the state's affidavit within two weeks.
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