Plans for constructing a memorial for Shiv Sena supremo late Bal Thackeray have received another setback, with the MMRDA rejecting a suggestion for allotment of a three-acre vacant plot in Bandra Kurla Complex’s G-block.
Even as a committee led by NCP leader Sharad Pawar and comprising politicians from all parties is exploring possible sites for the memorial, a suggestion for allotment of the three-acre plot had been made to the government.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is the town planning agency for BKC, has however informed Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan that “there are no provisions for allotting land for memorials” in the BKC.
Following the suggestion, Chavan had sought a report on its feasibility from the MMRDA.
While claiming that 17 plots in the G-block were vacant, the MMRDA has said “there were no provisions for reservation of plots for memorial purposes”.
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The agency has further informed the government that at current market rates, which hover around the Rs 3.5 lakh per sqm in the region, the market price of a three-acre plot would come to around Rs 1,880 crore.
Senior officials said a plot in BKC for the memorial was almost ruled out in the given circumstances.
The site for the late leader’s memorial has become a vexed issue. While many Shiv Sainiks insist that the memorial must be constructed on the Shivaji Park, the late Sena chief’s estranged son Jaidev himself has opposed the memorial on the ground. The option for a memorial on a portion of the Mahalaxmi Race Course has also been ruled out following opposition from certain quarters. Jaidev, too, had opposed the option.
The Mumbai Mayor’s bungalow situated near Shivaji Park is also being considered as a possible location for the memorial.