State approves 100 cr for Bal Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park
Amid worsening ties, the BJP-ruled state government on Tuesday allotted Rs. 100 crore for Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s memorial at Shivaji Park.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The memorial will be constructed at the cost of Rs 100 crore at Shivaji Park, where the last rites of the iconic Shiv Sena leader were performed. The funds for the memorial will be provided by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
The memorial will be built on four acres of prime sea-facing property that earlier housed the Mumbai Mayor’s bungalow, the land for which will be transferred by the civic body to the trust set up for the memorial’s construction.
Architect Shashi Prabhu, who is also a member of the trust, confirmed that civic work for the memorial is likely to start in February.
Cabinet Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the grand memorial was an apt way of paying respects to the great leader.
“Balasaheb Thackeray has always been a respectable and great leader. Hence the Cabinet has decided to construct a grand memorial in his memory, which will inspire the youths,” he said.
Despite recent clashes and bickering, Mungantiwar also hinted at the possibility of an alliance between the state’s ruling combine of BJP-Sena.
The cabinet decision comes days after a petition was filed in the Bombay High Court against the proposed site for the memorial, which is said to be in a green zone.
The petition, filed by social worker Santosh Daundkar, seeks the cancellation of orders for the change of land use (CLU) of the said property. The proposed memorial is also said to be in the violation of coastal regulatory rules.
Thackeray, an influential figure in Maharashtra politics, formed the Shiv Sena in 1966 to fight for the interests of Maharashtrians in Mumbai’s political and professional landscape.