Most of the city’s statues, built to commemorate the achievements of historical leaders and and nation builders, have been languishing in neglect these days, with the passers-by looking the other way in disgust and authorities turning a blind eye towards their upkeep and maintenance. If they aren’t covered by a thick patina of dust, their heads are crowned by an embarrassing coat of bird droppings.
Taking note of this, Nationalist Congress Party corporator Dr Sayeeda Khan moved a notice of motion before the civic general body meeting recently, asking that permanent shades be installed to shield tombstones, memorials, busts and statues in the city. “We have built statues to give respect to those who sacrificed their lives for the country and the society. To give respect to them, all statues and monuments should be kept clean,” said Khan.
In response, the BMC has decided to appoint a contractor for different zones, who will be vested with the responsibility of looking after the statues. “We are appointing contractors for each zone to clean up the statues on a monthly basis,” said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee. He also said that all statues would be covered with umbrellas, to save them from suffering the ignominy of being covered with bird faeces.
The city has about 12,000 statues, almost all of which have become an eyesore, often encrusted with dried bird droppings. Most of the statues are exposed to the elements, the noted exception being that of reformer Prabodhankar Thackeray near the Portuguese Church junction, which has an umbrella shielding it.
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