Efforts on to decide on land transfer for Ambedkar memorial



New Delhi: The Centre Tuesday indicated that all efforts would be made to take a decision on the long pending issue of transfer of land for construction of a memorial for Babasaheb Ambedkar in Mumbai before December 6.

"Prime Minister and I have been discussing this and we will definitely take an appropriate view and we will register fully what has been communicated to us about the sanctity of 6th of December and that shall definitely get reflected," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.

Sharma was speaking to reporters after meeting a delegation comprising of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and MPs from the state here.

Death anniversary of Ambedkar, the father of Indian constitution, falls on December 6 and the delegation pressed on arriving at a decision on the matter before that date.

It also said the issue is being politicised by other political parties.

The 12.5 acre Indu Mill land belongs to the Central government owned National Textiles Corporation, which falls under the Union Textiles ministry. Sharma holds additional charge of this ministry.

"This matter is now reached a stage that this is seriously engaging the attention, despite our preoccupation with the ongoing debate in Parliament...," Sharma said.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi have been extremely sensitive on this issue since the Chief Minister and his cabinet repeatedly drew the attention of the leadership about the public sentiment and the justification of constructing a befitting memorial for Ambedkar.

Chavan, on his part, said the state has completed all the procedural formalities for construction of the memorial.

The state government has to change the rules as the land falls under the Coastal Regulatory Zone.

"There will not be any commercial use of this land," Chavan said adding "we have changed the rule and amended the requirements of land use".

He urged Sharma to resolve all the issues related with the land for the purpose. A committee, consisting of top central and state government officials, is working out the modalities in this regard.

The Prime Minister had directed the committee and the state government to sort out all the issues, including the technical ones regarding the coastal regulations. The sea-facing plot adjacent to Chaityabhoomi, the final resting place of Ambedkar, is visited by lakhs of followers on his death anniversary every year.

PTI