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BMC installs Bal Thackeray’s statue at Colaba; Residents oppose

The BMC, on Sunday, January 17, positioned a nine-feet high statue of Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray’s statue at a visitors island on M G Highway at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Chowk in Colaba. Whereas it’s wrapped for now.

BMC installs Bal Thackeray’s statue at Colaba; Residents oppose
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Days before Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray's birthday,(which is celebrated on January 23), the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) installed his statue in Mumbai’s Colaba area.

The BMC, on Sunday, January 17, positioned a nine-feet high statue of Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray’s statue at a visitors island on M G Highway at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Chowk in Colaba.

The statue is still wrapped as some work is pending and it is set to be inaugurated later in this week.

Even though the statue has not been open yet for public, it has already faced opposition from the locals and residents on grounds of a 2013 Supreme Court order that stated that no statue would be installed on public roads.

Vice Admiral (Retd.) And President of an NGO Aapli Mumbai, I. C. Rao said that residents had opposed it in December 2019. According to a 2013 Supreme Court order, statues should not be erected on public roads. Besides, the road will have to be closed on the day of inauguration. This will cause traffic problems. Our opposition is not political. The security of pedestrians is affected, and when there are occasions when the statue will probably be garlanded, the street will probably be closed. There will probably be tons of individuals taking selfies and it’ll create a visitors drawback.

Shiv Sena councilor Yashwant Jadhav said, “Balasaheb Thackeray has made great sacrifices for Mumbai. There was a problem with the space chosen earlier. On the present location, there may be sufficient area for individuals to step in and pay homage to Balasaheb. All necessary permissions have been obtained for the statue. No Mumbaikar will oppose Balasaheb’s statue. These opposing it are getting used for political motives.”

Municipal officials have obtained permission from the Mumbai Antiquities Conservation Committee and other administrative permission. Therefore, the statue will be inaugurated on January 23. Leaders of all parties have been invited for the event to be held on Balasaheb Thackeray's birthday. This invitation has been extended to Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis as well as MNS President Raj Thackeray. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar herself had gone to Krishnakunj to invite Raj Thackeray.

Famous sculptor Shashikant Phadke has created this statue. At present, the statue has been erected on the fourth floor of Dr. Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Chowk. It is engraved under the statue as 'All my Hindu brothers, sisters and mothers gathered'. The words used by Balasaheb Thackeray to end his speech, 'Jai Hind Jai Maharashtra', have also been used on the fourth floor under the statue.

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