Confusion reigns over who will build Ambedkar memorial

With the decks cleared for constructing a memorial in honour of B R Ambedkar at the Indu Mill land with land transfer announcement, confusion is now prevailing as to who is responsible to build the monument.

RPI, Ramdas Athawale

Amid the welter, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Standing Committee has gone ahead and made a budget provision of Rs 25 lakh for the construction, but is clueless whether it would be allowed to do the work.

Indu Mill
Bird’s-eye view: With the Central government transferring the 12.5 acre land of India United Mill, popularly known as Indu Mill, to the state, the civic body now needs to change status of ‘mill land’ to that of a ‘recreation ground’. Pic/Nimesh Dave

According to the BMC’s budget estimate book, the Standing Committee has put aside the money as token provision for the construction of the memorial.

“The kept aside money doesn’t matter, as this would be considered as a token provision. If the BMC needs more money, then the amount will be spent under the same head,” said a civic official from the account department, on condition of anonymity.

“I don’t know about who will fund the project. But the memorial may be constructed by the BMC, as it is the nodal agency. The state and Centre would fund the project,” said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the Standing Committee.

Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte is also in the dark about the construction. “We will act as per the state government guidelines,” he said.

Welcoming the Central government’ decision, Ramdas Athawale, Republican Party of India (RPI) leader (in pic), said that he is not aware of the budget provision made by the civic body. “The state government should construct the memorial with the help of the Central government. The state and Centre should share the fund,” Athawale said.

On Tuesday, Textiles Minister Anand Sharma had announced in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha that the Centre will transfer the Indu Mill land to the Maharashtra government for the construction.

With the government initiating the process, the BMC would now need to change the reservation from ‘mill land’ to ‘recreation ground’.  

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