Social activists have written to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the BMC, demanding to stop concretization work of the historic August Kranti Maidan. Opposing the project over environmental concerns, they have warned of serious protest if their demand isn’t met.
The concretization work is part of the mega revamp planned for the maidan, from where Mahatma Gandhi had given the clarion call for the Quit India movement on August 8, 1942.
Reasoning for the opposition, activist Godfrey Pimenta asserted that the concretization work is suffocating the maidan’s soil and turning the city into an urban heat island. “If the BMC didn’t halt concretisation then we will launch quit August Kranti Maidan movement,” he said.
Similarly, Nicholas Almedia from the WatchDog Foundation formally raked up the issue with the CM and civic body. In his letter, Almedia sought to immediately stop the concretization work and restore maidan’s earlier status.
Responding to the said concerns, a civic official said, “We have been working on this project since the last few months. The work was scheduled to be completed by August 8, but we missed the deadline due to heavy rains and delay in the tendering process. The work is being done without disturbing the ground's historical importance. We have not received any objection to the work till now.” However, D ward assistant civic commissioner Sharad Ughade was unavailable for comments.
August Kranti Maidan, earlier known as Gowalia Tank Maidan, is located at Tardeo in south Mumbai. The BMC has divided the revamp project into two phases. The project is expected to be completed by January, 2023.