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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

No final word on memorial yet

Poorvi Kulkarni & Sayli Udas Mankikar  Mumbai, December 20, 2012
First Published: 02:26 IST(20/12/2012) | Last Updated: 02:28 IST(20/12/2012)

Although an  in-principle approval for the proposed samadhi (funerary monument) to late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park has been granted, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday said it was still at the stage of scrutinising the proposal for a landscaped garden and elevated platform that was approved at the party group leaders’ meeting on Tuesday.

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However, there were rumblings at the proposed samadhi spot on Wednesday with the Sena likely to rush the landscaping of the garden that will hold the samadhi to Thackeray.

“The proposal and the site are currently being examined by officials of the civic departments of development plan, gardens and estates. After the inspection, a report will be prepared on the proposed platform. Once it is finalised, it will be sent for further approvals,” said municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte.

Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani and a team of civic officials visited the site late on Tuesday evening and a patch of land to develop a garden for the samadhi has been demarcated at the spot.

Senior civic officials also said that the BMC might have to file an interim affidavit in the high court stating that the proposal does not involve any construction activity and seek its approval.

“Ideally an approval from the court may have to be sought since there are pending litigations over Shivaji Park. If the landscaped garden is later challenged in the court by a third party, the BMC would then have to be answerable for sanctioning the proposal,” said an official.

The Sena has reiterated that the proposed garden, which will be representative of late Sena leader Bal Thackeray’s memorial on Shivaji Park ground, will only have a grassy landscape with a square elevation at the centre, which will be covered with flowers.

“This landscaping will be done with the help of clay and mud and will not require any construction. It is being done on the lines of Rajghat,” standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale said.

He said the Sena would later out forth a proposal of a statue of Thackeray along with a mural of his cartoons to be installed at one of the peripheries of the park. “For this we will put a separate proposal,” he added.

But Shivaji Park, like any other open space, falls under coastal regulation zone (CRZ) –III, putting it beyond any development unless linked to public interest. So any sort of construction will need a nod from environmental authorities.

So the proposal for a statue and mural may require the BMC to go to the court to get relevant permissions and also obtain environmental clearances.


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