Mumbai: BMC takes greater control over Byculla museum

The future role of current director Tasneem Mehta is unclear as of now

After much controversy over the decisions and functioning of the Bhau Daji Lad museum in Byculla, the BMC on Tuesday announced that it is planning to take more control. This has raised a question mark over the future role of its director Tasneem Zakaria Mehta. A new trust headed by the mayor will look after the affairs of the museum now and it will consist of civic officials. A new proposal detailing the trust’s framework will be tabled before the corporators in a month. Whether Mehta will remain a member of the trust is still unclear.

Also read: Politicians gang up to oust Dr Bhau Daji Lad museum chief

Tasneem Mehta ran into controversy with MNS last year after there was a proposal for the museum’s expansion. File pic
Tasneem Mehta ran into controversy with MNS last year after there was a proposal for the museum’s expansion. File pic

Mehta ran into controversy with the MNS last year after there was a proposal for the museum’s expansion. A car park, part of the expansion, was to be constructed on a neighbouring playground used by local children. The MNS had claimed that it is the only playground in the area and should not be taken away from economically backward children for parking cars of the elite. The proposal was later trashed. Besides, the MNS had shot down plans to hold the finale of a prominent fashion show in the museum.

“There is a committee that looks at the museum affairs and is supposed to be headed by the mayor. But currently the mayor has no say in the matters and decisions are taken unilaterally. That’s why we demanded more control,” said MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande.

“There will be a new framework for the museum now and the current director’s role will change. I’m not sure if we can say that she (Mehta) has been removed. But she will no longer have the final word,” said BJP corporator Manoj Kotak. mid-day tried contacting Mehta but she was unavailable for comment.

Other decisions taken at the BMC meeting

No pavers on roads
Another decision taken in Tuesday’s meeting was that no paver blocks would be allowed on city roads anymore. Pavers have become notorious for their poor quality. Therefore, the BMC will only make asphalt or concrete roads now.

Clean-up marshals
The BMC has already announced that clean-up marshals will be back in the city but they will only be active in busy public places. “There have been complaints of misbehaviour by them. That’s why I told the commissioner that they should only be allowed in busy public places like Chowpatty and Shivaji Park as of now. He accepted the demand,” said Kotak.

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