While Shiv Sena supporters are eager to rename Shivaji Park, the mayor of Mumbai and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation have received a different request altogether. The Shiv Sena corporator of Andheri (W), Sanjay Pawar, has put forward a proposal to convert Kalapradarshini Garden in Andheri into an open art gallery for artists to showcase their work. The garden, maintained by the BMC was inaugurated by Bal Thackeray in 1991 and hence, the corporator has also proposed that the garden be named after Thackeray.
The open space was converted into a garden by the BMC in 1991, and an open art gallery had also been included. However, due to improper maintenance and lack of interest from local artists, it shut down within a few months.
The garden was later renovated by the BMC and is currently being used by residents in that area.
The corporator, however, feels the BMC must look into the matter seriously as there are very few art galleries in the city and the garden could be an important one.
The cost for the project is estimated to be Rs 1 crore and the proposal given to the BMC mentions that it would also generate revenue for the civic body.
A source from BMC, requesting anonymity, said, “When Chhagan Bhujbal was the mayor, he envisioned this concept and a corporator for Andheri had suggested the open space, which was then converted into a garden and later, into an open art gallery.”
Speaking to MiD DAY, Pawar said, “I feel the motive behind making this garden was lost, and I want the real reason to become a reality now. What better way than to name the garden after the man who inaugurated it, Balasaheb Thackeray? I have put forward the proposal to the mayor, the BMC and the ward officer of K-West ward, who have visited the garden. I am positive of this happening soon.”
Mayor Sunil Prabhu said, “I will have a look into the matter and will forward the letter to the concerned department, and examine the feasibility of this proposal as well.”