On Bal Thackeray Memorial, Mumbai Municipal Body’s Response to Court

Bombay High Court: The petition was filed in April 2017.

Mumbai:

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and a heritage committee told the Bombay High Court on Thursday that all necessary procedures had been followed for the construction of the memorial to Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray in Mumbai.

The BMC and the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) have submitted their affidavits before a divisional bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M. S. Karnik in response to public interest litigation challenging the Maharashtra government’s decision in 2017 to convert the Mayor’s Bungalow in Shivaji Park Zone to a memorial for Thackeray.

The petition was filed in April 2017 by a certain Bhagvanji Rayani after the government proposed to set up the memorial.

The memorial is to be built on land where the mayor’s bungalow was located at Shivaji Park in Dadar. The BMC in its affidavit said in May 2018 that the state government approved the change of the mayor’s bungalow to “Bal Thackeray Rashtriya Smarak” and said land reserve was changed from green zone to residential zone.

The modification of the reserve was done in accordance with the provisions of the Maharashtra Regional and Urban Planning Act (MRTP).

The MHCC in its affidavit said the mayor’s bungalow was a Grade II-B heritage structure and that the committee had issued all No Objection Certificates (NOCs) necessary for the construction of the memorial.

“The allegation made in the petition that there is no authorization for the said (memorial) project is not true,” the affidavit states.

The HC bench released the case for hearing on August 25.

Melissa C. Keyes