Thane: Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Jitendra Awhad on Tuesday visited the Thane central jail and directed authorities to ensure the beautification of historical spots inside the structure where several freedom fighters were lodged, in order to attract tourism. Awhad further assured the state government is ready to help with funds for the beautification of the facility.
The Thane central jail has a rich history as many freedom fighters and prominent revolutionaries were imprisoned in the jail. The Indian revolutionary Raghoji Bhangre who challenged and defied the British power in Maharashtra was also lodged in the jail.
The Thane central jail has a rich history as many freedom fighters and prominent revolutionaries were imprisoned in the jail| FPJ Photo
The cabinet minister visited the facility to observe the memorial of the freedom fighter, which was in a corner and couldn't be noticed. Awhad then decided on a new place for the memorial inside the jail. He stated that the memorial should be kept open for tourism.
Hansraj Khewra, president of Adhivasi Sarmik Sangrash had earlier approached and met Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and requested for redeveloping Raghoji Bhangre's memorial.
Awhad also ensured financial help for the beautification of the facility| FPJ Photo
Pawar then asked cabinet minister Awhad to look into the matter. Following that, Awhad, along with the city president of Nationalist congress party, Anand Paranjpe and other party members visited the jail on Tuesday at around 1:30 pm. The minister and party members had discussed the beautification of the memorial with the Harshal Ahirrao, the jail superintendent.
“I was asked by Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar to visit the jail. It's the responsibility of the state government to develop the freedom fighter's memorial. What we need in the development will be discussed with the Adhivasi community people and the same will be decided. We have decided the place of its construction and it will be built at the earliest,” said Awhad.
Awhad also ensured financial help for the beautification of the facility and directed that a display wall be set up at the front gate portraying the structure's history.
The History of the Jail:
In 1730, the Portuguese had constructed the historical fort. In 1784, the British took the fort in their custody and in 1838 the fort was converted into Thane jail. In 1857, it was declared a sub-jail and converted into Thane District jail and in 1972 it was converted into Thane Central Jail. In 1994, the central jail was newly constructed without damaging the old structure. The new jail included 8 barracks that could hold more inmates.
About the Jail:
Thane Central Jail has a capacity of 1,105 inmates but at present around 3100 inmates are imprisoned in it including 100 women inmates. It started as an open jail, where around 25 inmates would practice farming in open spaces.
The jail has 17.57 hectares of land, including a structure of 5.40 hectares and an open space of 6.17 hectares with farmland of 4.17 hectares. The facility also has a 2 hectares lake and a staff quarters of 6 hectares. The jail is a ground plus one floored structure.
The jail also includes inmates from Palghar, since it was earlier under Thane's jurisdiction. After the district was formed authorities had applied for a new jail in Palghar, the proposal is still pending.