Months after the state asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to initiate the process of setting up a grand memorial to late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray at the mayoral bungalow in Shivaji Park, the civic body has now written to the government, seeking details of the public trust in order to hand over the bungalow.
On the occasion of the third death anniversary of Bal Thackeray in November last year, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced that a memorial will be built at the mayor’s bungalow. A public trust, headed by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, was to be formed to oversee the construction, Fadnvais had said.
In January, the state asked the civic body to initiate the necessary process for the memorial to be built.
“To initiate the process of handing over the bungalow, we need the name of the public trust and related details. So, we have now written to the state seeking the details to proceed further,” said a civic official.
The official added that the trust is supposed to work out the modalities for the memorial and the entire cost of the memorial will be borne by the state government.
The government decided to form a public trust on the lines of the YB Chavan Pratisthan headed by NCP president Sharad Pawar.
The Supreme Court, in a ruling in 2013, had stated that no memorials should be allowed in government-owned houses and the Centre also issued a circular in 2014 banning the conversion of government bungalows into memorials.
“Though there is an SC ruling, we are just following the directions of the state government. They asked us to hand it over. So, we have asked them to provide details of the trust,” said a senior civic official, adding that the civic body’s role in building the memorial will depend on the kind of trust that will be formed.
The Shiv Sena-ruled BMC has set aside Rs 1.90 crore for the construction of the memorial in the next financial year’s budget.
The scenic mayoral bungalow, a heritage building, offers an uninterrupted view of Dadar-Chowpatty and has been the official residence of the Mayor of Mumbai for more than four decades.
Bal Thackeray established the Shiv Sena in 1966 at Shivaji Park and also addressed the annual Dussehra rallies there.