Shiv Sena supporters and workers eager to visit Bal Thackeray’s memorial at Shivaji Park will have to wait.
The inauguration of the memorial at Shivaji Park has been delayed and may now take place just before November 17, Thackeray’s first death anniversary. Work has not begun on the memorial, as the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority ( MCZMA) has not permitted construction at Shivaji Park yet, which falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone.
Kishor Kshirsagar, deputy municipal commissioner ( Zone- II), said, “ We have sought the permission of MCZMA and Environment department and the work will be completed in two days once we get the permission from them.” Mayor Sunil Prabhu had promised that the memorial will be unveiled on Foundation day ( June 19), but the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ( BMC) said that the memorial will only be completed before November 17. The MCZMA needs to grant permission to construct the railings around the green patch, which will be named after Thackeray. The original plan, which was passed by the BMC, had no civil construction permission. The new plan, which includes the railings, has been pending with the MCZMA for more than three months. The plot itself is not in great shape either – there are no guards at the site since the BMC’s Garden department finished work on it. If the plot remains unmanned, chances are that the BMC will have to do the work all over again. The 40X20 feet plot has a lawn area with shrubs on it and a 5X8 feet clay structure. The plan, passed by the municipal commissioner, had stated that no civil structure will be built here. The BMC plans to promote green spaces through their work on the memorial.
Rahul Shewale, Shiv Sena corporator and standing committee chairman, said, “ We are sure we will finish the memorial’s construction before November 17. We have asked the commissioner to follow up with the State government and ensure that the memorial is ready by then.” A senior officer, on condition of anonymity, said, “ The Sena expects much from the BMC. So, the corporation is busy writing to the state government these days.”