Followers of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on Sunday paid tributes to the leader on his 53rd death anniversary. Crowds from all over the state thronged Chaityabhoomi, the leader’s memorial at Shivaji Park in Dadar to offer prayers.
The crowds paid respect to the leader and later camped at Shivaji Park where various stalls had been set up for them. Expecting lakhs of people at Chaityabhoomi, the BMC has prepared accordingly.
“Shivaji Park had been carpeted as people live here during the event. Tents, toilets, mandaps, dustbins, lighting, water and food was provided by the BMC. More than 500 civic and NGO workers maintained cleanliness of the premises,” a BMC official said.
Besides basic facilities en route to Shivaji Park, the civic body has made arrangements in and around the maidan. It has set up sitting areas in a 20,800-sq m area at the maidan. Hundreds of mobile toilets have been set up at Shivaji Park and Dadar beach.
The traffic police have also put in special road arrangement traffic plan near Dadar to manage traffic.
A senior police official from Shivaji Park police station said, “There was a huge crowd, but it will be difficult to give an exact number of people visiting Chaityabhoomi on Sunday. There was no untoward incident and the day went peacefully. There were 15 CCTV cameras for security along with 10 large screens for people to see live feeds of the event.”
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre, Congress leader Chandrakant Handore and minister Naseem Khan were among the first to visit to offer floral tributes to the late Dalit icon.
Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, RPI leader Ramdas Athavale and Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar also paid homage to Ambedkar.
Brief functions were also held at various political party offices and Vidhan Bhawan premises to mark the occasion.