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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

MMRDA sanctions Rs 400 cr to construct Thackeray memorial

The memorial, initially estimated to cost Rs 89 crore, was proposed following Thackeray's death in 2012.

Written by Vallabh Ozarkar | Mumbai |
Updated: December 26, 2021 9:01:40 am
About Rs 28 crore will be spent for the 2D and 3D documentaries on the life and works of Thackeray, which will be showcased in the memorial for visitors.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has recently approved a budget of Rs 400 crore to construct the proposed memorial of late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray at the site of the erstwhile Mumbai mayor’s bungalow at Shivaji Park in Dadar.

The memorial, initially estimated to cost Rs 89 crore, was proposed following Thackeray’s death in 2012.

The memorial will be constructed in two phases. While Rs 250 crore will be spent in the first phase, Rs 150 crore will be spent in the second phase.

About Rs 28 crore will be spent for the 2D and 3D documentaries on the life and works of Thackeray, which will be showcased in the memorial for visitors.

Officials said that following the state government’s nod to construct the memorial, a public trust by the name of Balasaheb Thackeray Rashtriya Smarak (BTRS) was set up in 2016.

In February 2019, the state urban development department had approved Rs 100 crore for the project, following which – based on the estimates given by a consultant — a tender of Rs 89 crore was floated by the MMRDA. However, it was later cancelled.

In the meantime, for the construction of the memorial, the plot of Keraliya Samaj Sanstha near the mayor’s bungalow was made available by the BMC on lease at a nominal rent of Rs 1 per annum for 30 years.

Following the merger of the two plots (site of mayor’s bungalow and the plot of Keraliya Samaj Sanstha), the MMRDA was instructed by the BTRS to undertake construction work as per the new layout prepared by the consultant.

The MMRDA then went on to appoint another consultant and a fresh plan was prepared. After receiving approval from BTRS, a detailed budget was submitted to MMRDA for administrative approval.

According to the original proposal, the total area for construction was 2071.67 sq m, which was later increased to 6,056.82 sq m. The change in plot size meant more buildings to come up.

“Several new structures like lecture hall, meeting room, multipurpose hall and auditorium were added to the plan, along with other facilities, owing to which the budget has increased,” an official said. Approval has been given to appoint a consultant for the second phase of work… Fresh tenders will be now floated for the work,” the official added.

The first phase will include work on the memorial’s architecture, interior and exterior decoration of buildings, garden rainwater management and other infrastructure facilities.

The second phase will deal with work on facilities like laser shows, digital mapping projection, storytelling, film screening and audio visual shows and virtual reality among others.

The interior and exterior of the mayor’s bungalow’s will be completely restored to preserve its heritage and will be beautified to give back its former glory. Rooms in the building will be used for showing period photographs that will unfold Thackeray’s biography.

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