Two years after the plan to build a memorial to Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray was announced, the Mumbai civic body has handed over the possession of the land earmarked for it to the trust which will construct the structure.
The land selected for the proposed memorial, announced in November 2016, currently houses the bungalow of Mumbai mayor located near Shivaji Park in Dadar, central Mumbai.
According to a civic official, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) handed over the possession of the land to the Balasaheb Thackeray Memorial Public Trust on last Tuesday.
“Built in 1928 in an area spread over four acres, the possession of mayor’s bungalow has been officially handed over to the trust,” said Parag Masurkar, assistant municipal commissioner (estate department), BMC.
“Now physical possession will start as and when the current mayor vacates his official residence and we get further instructions,” he said.
“The plot, ad measuring 11,500 sq metre, has been handed over to the trust on a nominal lease of Re 1 per annum for 30 years,” he said.
Another official said as Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar is expected to vacate his official residence by the end of this year, the trust may organise the ground-breaking ceremony at the site on January 23, 2019, the birth anniversary of the late Sena founder.
The BMC bought the sprawling bungalow in 1962 for use as the official residence of mayor and B P Devgi was the first mayor to occupy it.
The official added, “All administrative decisions have been taken to shift mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar to a bungalow built in the premises of the zoo at Byculla in South Mumbai.”
Shivaji Park holds an important place in the history of the Shiv Sena, founded by Thackeray in 1966.
The Sena patriarch held the first rally of his party at Shivaji Park. He also addressed the party’s annual Dussehra rally at the iconic ground year after year.