The Maharashtra government has decided to rename Girgaum Chowpatty beach as Swaraj Bhoomi as a tribute to Lokmanya Gangadhar Tilak whose last rites were performed on the seashore along Girgaum.
A Government Resolution issued by the state urban development department dated March 17 states that the location is historically significant and the decision to rename it has been taken with the intention of inspiring future generations.
It cites Tilak’s clarion call to the nation, “Swaraj is my birth right band I shall have it” and goes on to state that the veteran freedom fighter dedicated his life to the cause of India’s self-rule.
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The BMC had, in 2011, passed a resolution to declare the site as a national memorial and forwarded the proposal to the then chief minister for its approval.
The GR says that this has also been a long-standing demand of the Lokmanya Tilak Swarajya Bhoomi Samiti.
The committee had, in its many meetings with the state government, demanded construction of an arch and pillar but the proposal was turned down on the grounds that it would require environmental clearance.