Shiv Sena jumps on the save museum ground bandwagon

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 16 Desember 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: After the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), the Shiv Sena too has stepped forth to save a playground near Bhau Daji Lad Museum at the Byculla zoo. The ground is usually used by children to play cricket.

Last week, MNS corporator Samita Naik wrote to municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte, asking him to allow children to use the open space inside the museum compound as a playground. "According to the museum's expansion plan, the open space will be converted into a parking lot. It should not be done," Naik said in her letter. She has also objected to shifting a security guard cabin from the entrance of the zoo.

On Monday, Sena leader and chairman of the civic standing committee Shailesh Phanse said that he will protest against the plan to convert the open space into a parking lot.

"The open space should be left as it is. We will recommend reservation for the plot as 'playground'. A parking lot can be built underground or above the ground," said Phanse.

He also clarified that the museum expansion plan had not been cleared by the Bhau Daji Lad Trust, which is headed by the mayor. "We are not against the expansion plan but in favour of open spaces," Phanse added.

On Sunday, locals, who had the backing of Naik, had staged a protest in Byculla to save the open space. Naik has also planned a 'Box Cricket Tournament' for women on the ground to protest the parking lot plan.

"Women from our area will play cricket bang opposite the entrance of the museum, just to show the authorities that we would be left with no place to play if the ground is taken away," said Naik.

MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande said the party would protest against the BMC to save the open space. The ground is not only used by children but also by various schools to organize functions.

Recently, US architect Steven Holl was selected to design the new wing of Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Byculla. The annexe of the city's oldest museum is expected to be ready by 2018 and a sum of Rs 200 crore is to be spent on the construction. The structure will be spread over nearly 1,10,000 sq ft, according to the proposed plan.

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