Today is the second death anniversary of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is busy making arrangements for the lakhs who are expected to come to the city to pay their respects to the leader.

Also read: Shiv Sainiks to pay homage to Bal Thackeray on his second death anniversary tomorrow

Thackeray memorial
More than 2 lakh people are expected to visit the Thackeray memorial to pay their respects to the Shiv Sena supremo. File Pic

The occasion, called ‘Smriti Din’ (Remembrance Day), is expected to attract more than 2 lakh Shiv Sainiks from across the state, who will come to Shivaji Park to the Bal Thackeray Smriti Udyan in Shivaji Park to pay homage. Civic officials are
preparing to arrange for toilets, drinking water, and an ambulance for the day.

The BMC is no stranger to such events; it makes similar arrangements during Mahaparinirvana Divas, the death anniversary of B R Ambedkar on December 6, and on April 14, his birth anniversary. Lakhs of his followers swarm to Shivaji Park to pay their respects on these days.

“Since thousands of people visit Shivaji Park during these events, we make arrangements for water, ambulances and toilets to avoid littering and dirtying of the area. We also deploy our conservancy staff for the whole day to clean the premises,” said Sharad Ughade, assistant municipal commissioner, G/North ward office.

He added, “After Mahaparinirvana Divas, ‘Smriti din’ has been added to our list. Though these events have nothing to do with the BMC, we provide facilities so that people are not inconvenienced.”

According to sources, civic officials may have to organise these facilities for another event – January 23, the birth anniversary of Bal Thackeary.

The local ward office had repaired the Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park recently. Flowering plants were replaced and the railings around the memorial were repainted. Mayor Snehal Ambekar had suggested that LED lights, which were not working, be repaired. “We have completed the repair work and the issue with lights has also been solved. We are fully prepared for the event,” Ughade told mid-day.

Sources said the civic body has spent around Rs 2 lakh on repairing the memorial. Around 50 conservancy staffers will be at hand to collect trash thrown by the crowds. Four water tankers, five mobile toilets (with around 5 cubicles each) and an ambulance will also be available.

The civic body had built the memorial last year. Shiv Sena wanted a memorial statue at Shivaji Park, but since Shivaji Park is a grade I heritage structure, a garden was built to commemorate Thackeray.