A huge controversy has broken out over the suggestion made by the Mangeshkar family to name the upcoming coastal road after the late Lata Mangeshkar.
Mangeshkars proposed coastal road be named after her at function to mark her 1st death anniversary
At a function to mark the first death anniversary of the legendary singer on Monday, Lata Mangeshkar’s sister and singer Usha Mangeshkar broached the proposal. This was endorsed by their nephew Adinath Mangeshkar, who is a music composer.
BJP leader agrees, Congress leader bats for road to be named after Balasaheb Thackeray
Spokesperson of the city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Udaypratap Singh said the proposal should be favourably considered by the BMC and the state government, considering the fact that Lata Mangeshkar was a long-time resident of Mumbai and had done the metropolis proud. He said, “She was a Bharat Ratna in the true sense and the city will be honouring itself by naming the prestigious coastal road after her.”
However, Ravi Raja, senior Congress leader and ex-leader of the opposition in the BMC, said the mega project was mooted by the late Bal Thackeray and it would be in the fitness of things if it were to be named after the Shiv Sena leader. “If the state government wants, it can name the trans-Harbour link connecting Sewri and Nhava Sheva after Lata Mangeshkar,” he added.
Mumbai Coast Road is BMC's most ambitious project
The BMC’s dream project is estimated to cost over Rs 3,500 crore and covers a distance of 10.58 kilometres, starting from near the Princess Street flyover and ending at the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL). Over 67 per cent of the work on the project is complete and it is tentatively expected to be opened to vehicular traffic in November 2023.
Activist says road be named after Lokmanya Tilak
Noted activist Kamlakar Shenoy has also opposed naming the coastal road project after Lata Mangeshkar. He said the huge project should be named after Lokmanya Tilak, to inspire the young generation. He noted that “Tilak had sacrificed his entire life for the cause of national freedom and it is necessary that we remember him by naming the road after him.”
Incidentally, the veteran leader’s body was cremated on the sands of the beach at Chowpatty and not in a crematorium because of the turnout of lakhs of citizens who wanted to have a last glimpse of the legendary leader.
BJP leader says Coastal Road is an extension of Sea Link, cannot be named after another person
A BJP leader who did not wish to be named, said the state government had not taken any decision on renaming the road after the singer. He said the coastal road was an extension of the BWSL and thus, an integral part of the sea link. “Since the BWSL has already been named after Rajiv Gandhi, it will not be possible to name its extension after any other person,” he explained.
Other activists too object to the proposition
Dr Gaurang Vora, another activist, said the coastal road should be named after a prominent freedom fighter, and not after a singer.
Another activist, who wished to remain anonymous, observed that “Lata Mangeshkar had vehemently opposed the flyover at Pedder Road, where she lived in Prabhu Kunj building. It was an important infrastructure project, but she said ‘no’ to it since she claimed it would cause noise and air pollution. Had the flyover been built, it would have considerably eased traffic congestion on the arterial Pedder Road. But the then government succumbed. I am surprised how the family is now wanting another infra project to be named after her.”
Maharashtra minister's letter to CM endorsing Mangeshkars' suggestion
There were reports that Mangal Prabhat Lodha, the MLA from Malabar Hill and a minister, had written to chief minister Eknath Shinde endorsing the Mangeshkars’ suggestion. However, he was not available for comment.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)