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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Residents to act after it gets official

Sayli Udas Mankikar and Vaishnavi Vasudevan , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 21, 2012
First Published: 01:11 IST(21/11/2012) | Last Updated: 01:12 IST(21/11/2012)

While residents are still against a memorial of Sena chief Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park, they have decided to react only after an official move is made either by the government or the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on the issue.

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Residents met on Tuesday to decide on a course of action.

Till now, the Sena has only expressed its desire to construct a memorial at the spot where their leader was cremated. There has been no official request made to the government.

“We have decided to see how the government proceeds on this issue, after which we will take a call. But our protest on the memorial remains,” said Ashok Rawat, trustee of the WECOM trust, formed by the Shivaji Park residents association, which is already fighting a case against noise pollution and public meetings at the park.

Representatives of sports clubs located around the public recreation ground also have expressed their unhappiness over the memorial, saying it will hamper playing sports on the ground considering the number of people who will visit the site.

“We wish to have Balasaheb’s memorial, but we do not support a statue on the ground. There are very few open spaces left in the city. Shivaji Park is a playground and it should remain so,” said Uday Deshpande, general secretary of Samarth Vyayam Mandir, a sports club at Shivaji Park.

A memorial will require maintenance and security. All this will disturb the game, he added.

A senior sports coach associated with Shivaji Park said, “Balasaheb was a cricket fan. He wouldn’t have wanted any decision that would affect passionate sportsmen and hundreds of cricketers.”


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