Shiv Sena-ruled BMC is on a race against time to begin their work on the Bal Thackeray memorial site at Shivaji Park but they are waiting for approval from the Coastal Regulatory Zone Authority.
The BMC had started their preliminary work for the memorial which the Shiv Sena aimed to complete before November 17, on the first death anniversary of Bal Thackeray. But it seems unlikely that they will be able to complete their work this month.
“Since construction is not allowed at Shivaji Park, the design we chose for the memorial is very basic so that it does not involve any intensive construction work,’ said a senior civic official. The design takes into consideration the fact that the part of memorial that will hold the ashes will be at an elevated height. The area around it will be beautified.
Shivaji Park is a Grade-I heritage site, any alterations to the site require permissions from the heritage committee. The BMC’s submitted its proposal to the committee. “The proposal includes activities like landscaping and planting saplings without construction at the site. The heritage committee has already given its go ahead,” said the official.
Apparently, the BMC moved for permissions from the CRZA in June, but the decision is still pending.
Sunil Prabhu, mayor of Mumbai said, “Several times strays animals enter the memorial site and desecrating it. This ends up hurting the sentiments of the sainiks. It was hence decided to fence off the memorial site with iron grills without any actual construction. But this move still needs CRZA approval. While the civic body has already begun landscaping, we will not carry out the fencing work. That can be done later.”
Sena leaders are hoping the memorial is complete before November 17, the death anniversary of Bal Thackeray. Thousands of sainiks are expected to throng Shivaji Park on the first death anniversary of the founder of the Shiv Sena.