After Balgandharva, Girish Bapat raps Bhimale for renaming Salisbury park garden

Senior BJP leader Girish Bapat has asked state unit chief Chandrakant Patil to act against Salisbury park corporator Shrinath Bhimale for renaming the PMC garden after his late father.
Yashwantrao Bhimale garden at Salisbury park. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)
Yashwantrao Bhimale garden at Salisbury park. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)
Published on May 25, 2022 10:12 PM IST
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ByAbhay Khairnar

Pune Member of Parliament and Senior BJP leader Girish Bapat has asked state unit chief Chandrakant Patil to act against Salisbury park corporator Shrinath Bhimale for renaming the PMC garden after his late father. Local residents have been protesting against Bhimale and demanded that the original name be restored by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Bapat said, “Citizens are staging agitations for last one-and-a-half-months against the renaming of a PMC garden after the local corporators father. It is not Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) culture to name gardens after relatives. I had asked Bhimale to remove the name as citizens are against it and doing agitations but he did not act. Considering this, I have appealed our state unit president Chandrakant Patil to take action against Bhimale.”

The PMC rules mandate that gardens can be named after national figures only or those working in the field of environment. However, those public gardens that have private family names officially sanctioned have been approved by the naming committee of the PMC and not the garden department, said officials. In the case of Salisbury park, the renaming was approved by the naming committee as a result of which PMC officials had earlier expressed inability to change the name.

When contacted, Bhimale replied saying he was not aware of Bapat’s remarks. “I am not aware what Bapat said or the demand he has made with the party. I will not make any comment on this issue as Bapat is our senior leader.”

Interestingly, two days ago, Bapat had attacked on own party leaders on the issue of Balgandharva redevelopment saying there is no need to go for excess construction.

After Bapat’s remarks on Salisbury park agitation, local residents said they are hopeful that action will be taken.

Corporators supported me’

“Earlier, my wife was the corporator and, now, I am representing the area. After becoming the leader of the house in PMC, I took continuous follow-up with the civic officials and we acquired the land from its owner. As the BJP was the ruling PMC, elected members approved the resolution to name the garden after my father,” Bhimale had said earlier last month.

Salisbury citizens acquired the land for garden after PMC, in 2004, issued a notification to de-reserve the land, earmarked for a garden, and handed it over to a builder. Bombay high court had directed PMC to pay Rs18 crore to the district administration and take possession of the land.

The 3.5-acre garden, located near Gool Poonawalla park, was inaugurated in November last year with a board stating ‘Pune Mahanagar Palika Udyan’. Residents claim Bhimale illegally placed a board ‘Late Prof Yashwantrao Bhimale Garden’ naming the garden after his father.

The garden’s story

2004: PMC issues a notification to de-reserve a plot of land originally earmarked for a garden, hands it over to a local builder

2004: Residents file a case

2015: Bombay high court directs PMC to pay Rs18 crore to the district administration and take possession of the land

2016: Land used as a dumping ground

2018: HC ruling referred to a larger bench and the amount increased to Rs76 crore

2020: Bhimale, on March 6, introduces a resolution in PMC general body meeting to rename the garden after his father

2021 October: Garden is inaugurated

2021 November: Garden is renamed

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