The proposed statue of Bal Thackeray near the traffic island between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) may not be complete by the proposed deadline of January 23. This is said to be due to pending permissions from agencies like the MHCC (Mumbai Heritage Commission Committee), the traffic department as well as the civic gardens department.

BMC Mayor Kishori Pednekar said, “The statue will be up only after all permissions are in place. We expect several visitors once the statue is erected, therefore do not want to hurry the work.” However, sources cited by TOI mention that some of the basic structural works for the statue haven’t yet begun, hinting at a longer delay than expected. Shiv Sena planned to unveil the statue of its leader on January 23, 2020, which is also the late politician’s 94th birth anniversary. 

Around five years ago, a statue of Bal Thackeray was proposed by the civic standing committee chairman at the time, Yashodhar Phanse. The traffic island in front of the state police headquarters at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Chowk was chosen as the spot for this statue. However, late last year, Shiv Sena corporator and current civic standing committee chairman, Yashwant Jadhav, pitched the area around NGMA as the location. 

Explaining the delay, Jadhav said, “As the location has been changed, permissions will be sought again. But we are ensuring that the process is completed as soon as possible.” 

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