INDIA. Mumbai: The rich tributes were paid to veteran freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Father of Indian unrest, on his 101st death anniversary by different organizations in Maharashtra on Sunday.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar paid tributes to Lokmanya Tilak, who was the first to express discontent and unite people against the then British rule and fight for India’s independence.
In his official statement, Pawar stated that Tilak worked to unite the people against the British rule which had ruled the country for more than a century. He had given thought to the country’s people that freedom was their birthright and they should fight for it. He took care of the Indian independence struggle and formed the people’s movement to free the country from the clutches of the British regime. To preserve the country’s independence, integrity, sovereignty and the values of the Constitution will be a true tribute to Tilak and millions of Indians who sacrificed their lives to achieve independence, Pawar added.
Similarly, Mumbai Congress President Bhai Jagtap, Working President Charan Singh Sapra, and others paid floral tributes to Lokmanya Tilak at his statue located at Girgaum Chowpatty in South Mumbai.
The redevelopment of BDD chawls
The foundation stone of the redevelopment of the BDD chawls at Worli in South Central Mumbai was laid on the occasion of Tilak’s death anniversary by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP Chief Sharad Pawar..While laying the foundation stone of the mega project of redevelopment of the century-old BDD (Bombay Development Department) chawls, Thackeray recalled Tilak’s electrifying slogan-“Swaraj is my birth-right and I shall have it”. Tilak stirred the Indian people and breathed new life into our freedom struggle. Who should express concern to ensure that the people get their own rightful house? Now we have shouldered that responsibility to give people their own house, Thackeray said. It may be recalled that, a Bhoomi puja of the same project was performed in 2017. However, the project was stalled due to opposition by some of the residents.
The BDD chawls were set up at Worli, Lower Parel, Naigum, and Sewree in Mumbai on 92-acre land by the then Governor of Mumbai Provincial state Sir George Ambrose Lloyd between 1920 and 1924, to tide over the housing shortage faced with rapid industrialization. The redevelopment of the chawls at other places is being undertaken in phases. The estimated cost of the redevelopment of chawls at Worli, Lower Parel, and Naigum is Rs 17,000 crore.
However the issue of redevelopment of the chawls at Sewree is yet to be resolved since the land on which the chawls are located, belongs to the Mumbai Port Trust, coming under the Union Shipping Ministry.
Now under the Worli redevelopment project, all those residing in a dingy tenement admeasuring 160 square fee, will be given a 500 square feet apartment, equipped with modern amenities, free of cost. In all 121 chawls will be redeveloped and 9,689 tenements (9394 residential and 295 non-residential) will be constructed. Totally 33 ground plus 40- storey buildings will be constructed. Besides, separate buildings accommodating the hospital, hostel, school, and gymkhana will be constructed.
Each building will be provided with three passenger lifts, one stretcher lift, and a fire lift. Besides, there will be ground plus 6-storey podium parking and two huge staircases in every building. These buildings will be earthquake-proof. Also, there will be a drainage project, solar energy, and rainwater harvesting project in the cluster.
Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Minister of State for Housing Satej Patil, Guardian Ministers-Aditya Thackeray and Aslam Shaikh, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, Mumbai Repair Board Chairman Vinod Ghosalkar, Mumbai Slum Improvement Board Chairman Vijay Nahta, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Principal Secretary(Housing) Milind Mhaiskar, MHADA Vice President Anil Diggikar, MHADA Mumbai Board Chief Officer Dr. Yogesh Mhase, Mumbai repaid Board Chief Officer Anil Dongre and others were present during the foundation laying ceremony.
On Sunday, the tributes were also paid to Sahitya Ratna Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe on his birth anniversary. Sathe was an active writer and had a significant contribution to the country’s freedom struggle and post-independence development. On the strength of his writing and poetic voice, he successfully fought for the liberation of the United Maharashtra and Goa. The real-life struggle of the weak, deprived, and neglected members of the society were brought before the world through his literature.