Free Press Journal

BMC forgets to honour man who donated land


Bhagoji Keer’s bust, meant to be put up on a pedestal at the spot, is gathering dust in a cupboard in the  crematorium since the past two years

Mumbai : At a time when BMC has lost thousands of files containing records of land and buildings, it can be excused for forgetting the man who donated to it an acre of land by the sea at Shivaji Park.

There is no statue of Bhagoji Keer, the donor, at the plot of land which is used as a civic crematorium. Two years ago, local MLA Nitin Sardesai of the MNS spruced up the crematorium and decided to place a bust of Keer in the premises. A pedestal was made for it but the bust is gathering dust in a cupboard in the crematorium since the past two years.
Incidentally, Desai and Prakash Patankar, former corporator from the area, have displayed their names prominently at the gate itself, taking credit for the `renovation’.
Asked about the missing bust, Desai said, “I am unaware of this. I will check it with the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, which is funding the renovation.’’
Dr Satish Badgire, health officer for G-North ward, said he knew that Keer had donated land for the crematorium but nothing else about the man. He said his office had no records about the donation.
Milind Patil, deputy chief engineer of MHADA, who is supervising the renovation work, dodged questions on the topic for three days, saying, “I will talk about this later.’’
The crematorium itself is falling apart. It is crumbling and leaking all over. The saloon, where a barber shaves the heads of the deceased’s son, has been shut as one gets an electric shock on touching any button there.