A query through the Right to Information (RTI) Act in Mumbai has revealed the civic corporation’s lacklustre attitude towards the statue of one of the most celebrated kings of Maharashtra, Chhatrapati Shivaji, and also its apathy towards maintaining historical documents.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has no record of the date of installation of the statue of Shivaji Maharaj in Shivaji Park ground in Dadar. Ironically, the ground was named after the Maratha king. Last rites of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray were performed on the ground and plans for a garden his memory has been proposed beside the statue.
RTI activist Anil Galgali in his application to the civic body had asked the municipal department about the date of installation of this statue, history of the ground and the date when the ground was renamed Shivaji Park.
“It is ironic that BMC does not have information about the date of installation of this statue. It clearly is the neglect of the civic body towards the history of this State and historically important figures,” said Mr. Galgali. He added that the entire politics of this State runs on Shivaji's name and yet the State capital’s civic body had no record of such things.
BMC however has information about the renaming of the ground. It has provided a copy of a notice of motion dated May 10, 1927 which was proposed by G.B. Nare and seconded by Avantikabai Gokhle. According to the information provided, Municipal Corporation modified the name Mahim Park to Shivaji Park in order to commemorate the tri-centenary of Shivaji which falls in May.
Civic officials from the Municipal Secretary department declined to comment on the issue.