Plot adjoining mayor’s bungalow in Mumbai may become part of Thackeray memorial
In a proposal that will increase the area allocated for the construction of a memorial for Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, a bid to hand over an adjoining plot of the mayor’s bungalow in Shivaji Park will be tabled before the civic improvements committee for its approval on Tuesday.
The plot was given by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to Keraleeya Mahila Samaj, a charitable trust, under its vacant land tenancy policy in the 1950s. The proposal seeks permission to hand over this plot to the Bal Thackeray Memorial Trust on an annual lease of ₹1 per year for 30 years once the proposal is approved.
The state government had already given its nod to convert the mayor’s bungalow at Shivaji Park into a memorial. The plot of the bungalow that will be used for the memorial is 11,551 square metres, whereas the adjoining plot to be acquired is 362 square metres. Once the plot is handed over to the trust, the total area for the construction of memorial will be 11,913 square metres.
A senior civic official said, “There were hundreds of vacant plots with the civic body which were given to interested parties in order to prevent them from getting encroached. This plot was given to the Keraleeya Mahila Samaj under the vacant land tenancy. The tenants of the plot are getting an alternate accommodation of space equal to what they had here.” The samaj used to run a nursery school and conduct yoga classes on the plot, which they will now have to shift.
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 civic body a decade later.
The state government has already approved ₹100 crore for the construction of the memorial.