Sena scrapes through final clearance for proposed Bal Thackeray memorial at Mayor's Bungalow

Mayor's Bungalow is a seaside property opposite Shivaji Park in Dadar
Mayor's Bungalow is a seaside property opposite Shivaji Park in Dadar

Just days before the current house is to be dissolved, the Sena managed to clear the last hurdle in its quest to turn the Mayor's Bungalow located at Shivaji Park into a memorial for late Sena founder, Bal Thackeray. Surprisingly, in its second to last meeting of the current BMC body, the proposal of shifting the mayor and handing the heritage site over to the trust for Thackeray's memorial was passed without any opposition or discussion.

Congress, MNS stay silent
Even the Congress and MNS, which has previously criticised the Sena for attempting to grab land under the guise of turning a heritage site into a memorial, chose to stay mum on the issue. According to the proposal, about 11,551 square metres of the land will be given to the trust at a minimal rent of `1 per year for 30 years to set up the memorial and gallery, which will display Thackeray's cartoons.

Also read - Mumbai: Bal Thackeray memorial gets BMC nod

To facilitate the transfer, the state government had in December, issued a notification to change the Bungalow's land reservation, since it is heritage site. On January 11, the civic improvement committee cleared the proposal and sent it to state government for their final approval. On February 22, state government sent a letter to civic body, clearing the final proposal.

Mayor to move
Now, the mayor will be shifted to either the Garden Superintendent's Bunglow at the Byculla Zoo or Municipal Commissioner's Bunglow in Malabar Hill. The final decision will be taken in sometime. Meanwhile, Mayor Mayor Snehal Ambekar said, “I am happy that the final approval for the memorial has been given in my tenure. We have been pursuing the matter since the very beginning.”

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