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HC seeks state technical committee’s view on statute issue

Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to take an opinion of its technical committee on whether to relocate or reduce height of a statue at a traffic intersection in suburban Borivli which is obstructing traffic.

The statue in reference is a pedestal with busts of Lokmanya Tilak on four sides and a lion mounted above it. Local resident Rachana Chavan filed a PIL in 2012 on the traffic chaos at the intersection.

According to the petition, motorists have complained that they cannot see the signals properly due to the statue.

The traffic police had informed the high court that only two options are available to resolve the issue – one is of relocation of the statue and the other reducing its height.

Considering this suggestion, the high court had directed the municipal corporation to either relocate the statue or reduce its height. The civic body took a decision to reduce the height of the statue and appointed a contractor to carry out the job.

However, MP Gopal Shetty, BJP leader from Borivli, filed an application before the court seeking for the matter to be referred to the government’s technical committee.

A division bench of justices A S Oka and C V Bhadang last week directed the state government to refer the matter to the technical committee.

“The Technical Committee will examine both the options (either relocate or reduce) and record its opinion as to which of the two options is more feasible. The committee shall submit its report on or before June 10. Till the committee submits its report, action of reduction of height of the statue shall not be taken by the municipal corporation,” the court said.

Shetty’s advocate Siddarth Sharma informed the high court that after perusing the committee’s report, if the court modifies its order of reducing the height of the statue then Shetty will personally pay the fees payable to the contractor appointed by civic body.

The court will hear the matter on June 16.

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