The final impediment for the Shiv Sena’s plan to develop a landscaped memorial for late party founder Bal Thackeray was cleared on Saturday when the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) approved the proposal.
The proposal had to be presented to the committee as the Shivaji Park ground had been listed as a heritage grade I site in the proposed list of heritage structures published by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in July last year.
“The plan does not involve any element of construction. It includes landscaping, development of a lawn and planting of flowers and plants. It has been cleared by the committee,” said V Ranganathan, committee chairperson.
The plan for the memorial envisages a Champa tree on a plinth, under which a drift-wood plaque will display a famous outline sketch of late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray The memorial will be located on a 20x40 square foot plot of land at the ground’s periphery that falls between the statue
This means that work on the landscaped memorial, which first received an in-principle approval in December last year, is likely to begin soon.
The work will be taken up by the civic gardens department and the G North ward office (under which Dadar falls) and will be funded with taxpayers’ money.
Tenders will now be floated to develop the garden memoof Shivaji Maharaj and a structure owned by the Shivaji Park Nagrik Sangh.
It will be placed near the banyan and peepal trees that are located at the spot The Thackeray memorial is estimated to cost 10 lakh and will be funded by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. rial, and the Shiv Sena, which is a part of the ruling alliance in the BMC, is likely to push for the completion of the memorial before the first death anniversary of Thackeray on November 17.
The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), which had given its clearance to the memorial last month, had laid certain conditions that the memorial would comprise of little civil work and would focus on landscaping and greenery.
“There is nothing objectionable in the proposal as long as the party sticks to the plan that is presented. The proposal involves a pattern of flower bed, topiary plant at the centre and some bushes to be grown,” said a MHCC member.
Civic officials said that the proposal would not have needed the committee’s approval under usual circumstances but a circular issued by municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte, on August 14, mandated that the development or redevelopment of all sites and structures in the proposed heritage list should obtain a clearance from the MHCC.
“The proposal involves minimal work and would not have needed the committee’s approval had the circular not been issued,” said a senior civic official.