Clearing its stand over the construction of late Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray’s memorial at Shivaji Park, BMC authorities clarified that no land will be allotted to any political party to build memorials for any of their leaders, including Shiv Sena.
After dismantling Thackeray senior’s makeshift memorial at the park, Sena leaders sent an official proposal to the civic administration requesting permission to construct ‘Smruti Chauthara’ near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue. A few Shiv sainiks were spotted at the site with a priest, performing puja near the statue yesterday.
Though the civic administration approved the demand, in principle, and demarcated the area, its officials are yet to make a formal announcement about constructing the memorial.
Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte said, “The land belongs to the BMC and will remain with the BMC. There is no question of passing the title or renting it to any party.”
The BMC’s Garden Department would work out the estimated cost to build the landscape with a plaque in honour of the late Shiv Sena supremo, if the proposal is passed, and would use money from its own coffers. “We are in the process of taking a legal opinion,” Kunte said.
Sena leader Yashodhar Phanse had tabled the proposal at the recently held Group Leaders’ meeting. Phanse requested that land measuring 20x40 sq feet, at Shivaji Park be allotted to Shiv Sena.
Mayor Sunil Prabhu said, “The landscape will be built using soil. We just want to keep our leader’s memory alive.” He added that this was only the first step and Sena would soon build a bigger garden with all the necessary permissions.