Not memorial, Bal Thackeray gets a 'garden'

Balasaheb thackeray

Shiv Sena-BJP controlled BMC today accepted a Sena proposal for a garden at Shivaji Park in the memory to late leader Bal Thackeray, hours after the makeshift memorial there was dismantled.

A proposal to build a landscape garden of 40X20 sq ft was tabled by Sena group leader in the BMC, Yashodhar Phanse, which was accepted in the group leaders' meeting held here this afternoon. Group leaders of Sena's ally BJP, Congress, NCP and MNS were present at the meeting.

"However, Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohan Adtani will check the legal aspects by visiting the site before giving a final nod," Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte said, adding that further decision would be taken after checking the legal aspects.

The garden is proposed alongside the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at the Shivaji Park ground in central Mumbai.

Sources said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will convey the matter to the Maharashtra government which would approach the Bombay High Court before a final decision on the issue is taken.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena group leader Dilip Lande said the civic body should take care of the garden so that it is not damaged by miscreants.

Earlier today, after nearly a three-week-long standoff with municipal authorities, Shiv Sena dismantled the makeshift memorial of Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park in a post-midnight operation, avoiding a confrontation with the government.

Scores of Shiv Sainiks led by Mayor Sunil Prabhu and party leader in the Legislative Assembly, Subhash Desai, converged at Shivaji Park to supervise the exercise that got underway around midnight and ended three hours later.

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