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Cabinet nod to hand over part of Mumbai land for Ambedkar memorial

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar

The proposal says the planned memorial will “inspire and motivate” the citizens in particular, members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

AmbedkarNew Delhi: The way has been cleared for a magnificent memorial to Dr B R Ambedkar with government today clearing a proposal to hand over a part of now-defunct Indu Mills land in Mumbai to Maharashtra government for the purpose.

The Union Cabinet okayed a bill for the purpose today, nearly a year after the government had announced its move to give a portion of the land to the state government to set up the memorial, sources said.

“The Government of India has taken a view to make available this land for use by the Government of Maharashtra for the construction of a befitting memorial,” the then Textiles Minister Anand Sharma had told both Houses of Parliament in December last year.

An earlier move to hand over the land through an executive order was learnt to have been shelved and now The Acquisition of Certain Area in Mumbai for Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Memorial Bill, 2013 is likely to be introduced in Parliament in the winter session beginning on December 5.

The legislation is aimed at empowering the central government to acquire a portion of the land belonging to the National Textile Corporation Limited (NTCL) for facilitation of the construction of a memorial for Ambedkar.

Over 48,000 square meters of land will be acquired for the purpose. According to the cabinet note, NTCL will be paid Rs 45.77 crore for the land.

The proposal says the planned memorial will “inspire and motivate” the citizens in particular, members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The ashes of Ambedkar are kept at Chaitya Bhoomi situated in the vicinity of the 12.5 acre land of India United Mill, popularly known as Indu Mill at Prabhadevi in central Mumbai.

Last year, a delegation of MPs from Maharashtra, led by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to press for transfer of the land. Both Houses of the Maharashtra Legislature have already passed a unanimous resolution in support of the memorial.

Meanwhile, Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Ambedkar, dubbed the move as a “mere political gimmick” in view of coming elections. He said this should have been done earlier after a resolution was passed.

PTI 

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