Late Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s memorial may be build underground, without affecting mayor’s bungalow

The state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation have allotted the mayor’s bungalow, which is a heritage structure, for the purpose.

mumbai Updated: Sep 05, 2018 05:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Bal Thackeray,Shiv Sena,Memorial
Shiv Sainiks visit Bal Thackeray's memorial at Shivaji Park to pay their respects. (Kalpak Pathak/HT photo)

The proposed memorial of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray could be constructed underground at the mayor’s bungalow in Shivaji Park, Dadar. The new plan, by architect Abha Narain Lambah, proposes to construct the memorial underground. The state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have allotted the mayor’s bungalow, which is a heritage structure, for setting up the memorial of Thackeray. Constructing the memorial underground will give the memorial an additional 9,000 square feet area without any changes to the existing bungalow and not cutting any trees on the plot on which the structure stands.

A senior Sena functionary said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray did not wish to make major alternations to the place where the mayor’s bungalow stands today. “He was clear that trees should not be cut, and did not want to disturb the heritage structure in any way. The plan for an underground memorial was proposed but it is not finalised yet,” the party functionary said.

The memorial will also have an art gallery, library, seminar hall, lecture hall and other utilities, a senior civic official confirmed. Noted architect Shashi Prabhu, who is one of the members of the memorial’s trust, said the plan is not finalised yet. “It would require clearance from the Heritage Committee, and also the BMC. Though I have not had a chance to look at the proposal, there are many aspects that would need to be taken care of including ventilations, air-conditioning and so on for an underground memorial,” he said.

A senior civic official from the Heritage Committee said, “The structure to be constructed over the ground at the entrance will be shortened in order to give visitors an unhindered view of the existing bungalow.”

While Lambah declined to comment on the proposal, Subhash Desai, senior Sena leader and general secretary of the trust, remained unavailable for comment despite several attempts.

The state government has already given its nod to convert the bungalow into a memorial. The memorial will also have a guest house. The structure was used by the royal family of Bikaner in the late 1920s and taken over by the BMC a decade later. It was initially used as a municipal office before it became the mayor’s official residence.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 05:23 IST