Mumbai: BMC hands over land for Bal Thackeray memorial
Almost two years after, the plan to build a memorial on Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray was announced, the Mumbai civic body has eventually handed over the possession of the land earmarked for it to the trust which will construct the structure on the same.
In November 2016, the land selected for the proposed memorial was announced. Currently, the same land houses the bungalow of Mumbai mayor, which is located near Shivaji Park in Dadar, central Mumbai.
It is only recently that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has handed over the possession of the land to the Balasaheb Thackeray Memorial Public Trust, as said by a civic official on request of anonymity.
Parag Masurkar- assistant municipal commissioner (estate department), BMC, said, “Built in 1928 in an area spread over four acres, the possession of mayor’s bungalow has been officially handed over to the trust.”
He further added, “Now physical possession will start as and when the current mayor vacates his official residence and we get further instructions,”
He also said, “The plot, ad measuring 11,500 sq metre, has been handed over to the trust on a nominal lease of Re 1 per annum for 30 years.”
Another BMC official mentioned that, as Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar is expected to vacate his official residence by the end of this year, the trust may organise the ground-breaking ceremony at the site on January 23, 2019, the birth anniversary of the late Sena founder.
In 1962, the BMC had bought the sprawling bungalow for use as the official residence of mayor. B P Devgi was the first mayor to occupy it. The official further added, “All administrative decisions have been taken to shift mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar to a bungalow built in the premises of the zoo at Byculla in South Mumbai.”
Notably, Shivaji Park was founded by Thackeray in 1966 and it holds an important place in the history of the Shiv Sena. The Sena patriarch held the first rally of his party at Shivaji Park. He also addressed the party’s annual Dussehra rally at the iconic ground year after year.