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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Spyscraper? Bombay high court stunts highrise at Mazagon Dock | India News – Times of India

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MUMBAI: Observing that a proposed 19-floor highrise “is likely to be misused for spying” over Mazagon Dock, various prohibited places under the Official Secrets Act, and also over a local military authority, the Bombay high court dismissed a developer’s challenge to stop-work notices issued by the BMC in 2018 and for permission to construct further.
Mazagon Dock’s shipbuilding activities are highly secretive and sensitive to national security and integrity, said the HC on Thursday, finding no “mala fides” in the actions of the BMC, Centre or the dock. Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) had issued objections when construction had reached seven floors and BMC issued a stop-work notice after the 10th floor was constructed. The Centre said construction was permitted in the area with a height restriction of four floors.
Spying is an offence under the Official Secrets Act, noted the HC and said, “public interest would prevail over private interest’’ and “individual inconvenience alleged’’ “cannot prevail over national interest”. “In our view, construction activities can’t be permitted at the cost of national security,” it said.
It was a redevelopment of an old tenanted building called Laxmi Niwas with 23 tenants on Carpenter Street, 92 metres away from the dock. The petitioners, Nakhwa and Jasol Developers, had received civic nod to construct till the 10th floor in February 2017. In December 2017, MDL wrote to the BMC, opposing the proposed construction citing security concerns. A couple of months later, in February 2018, the defence ministry wrote to MDL not to grant clearance for any redevelopment of cessed buildings and oppose any proposed highrises in its vicinity.

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