Thackeray memorial: CM to conduct groundbreaking ceremony today

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will conduct the ground-breaking ceremony for the Balasaheb Thackeray National Memorial at Dadar on Wednesday.

Sources said the event would be organised with limited guests, and others would attend it online due to COVID-19 norms.

The memorial, which will cost Rs 400 crore, is being set up at the former official mayoral bungalow, a sea-facing property BMC owned and transferred to the trust, at Shivaji Park in Dadar. In the first phase of the memorial project, the architecture, electrical, interior and exterior decoration of the building, construction of parking lot, gardening and rainwater harvesting will be taken up. The second phase consists of the technological part that includes laser show, digital mapping, films, audio-visual, virtual reality.

Subhash Desai, senior Shiv Sena leader and Industries Minister, said Uddhav would be present for the function. “But, due to Covid protocols, there will be limited people at the venue and the rest will attend online,” said Desai. Sources said the Sena has organised the bhoomipujan on the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as per tithi while the government celebrates it on February 19 every year.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat have been invited to the event. Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who heads the trust, will attend the function online as he is in home isolation after testing positive for Covid 10 days ago.

“We wanted to organise the function in a big way but it is not possible due to Covid norms,” Desai said. The minister added that after the groundbreaking ceremony, work on the memorial would begin immediately.