An independent corporation will be established for the protection and conservation of forts ! – Hon. Mr. Mangalprabhat Lodha, Tourism Minister
An independent ‘Gad-Durg Corporation’ will be established in the next three months to preserve, conserve, protect and remove encroachments on all forts in Maharashtra. The State Minister for Tourism, Women and Child Development Mr. Mangalprabhat Lodha gave this information while addressing the ‘Gad-Durg Rakshan Mahamorcha’, that after the budget session regarding of all the remaining demands, a meeting will be held with the Chief Minister and all the Durg-loving organizations. This information was given by Mr. Sunil Ghanwat, Co-ordinator of ‘Maharashtra Gad-Durg Rakshan Samiti’. A ‘Gad-Durg Rakshan Mahamorcha’ was organized in Mumbai on behalf of ‘Maharashtra Gad-Durg Rakshan Samiti’. At this time Hon. Minister Lodha personally came to Azad Maidan and met the delegation of the committee.
More than 1500 participants of Gad-Durg organizations from across the state participated in the ‘Gad-Durg Rakshan Mahamorcha’ organized by the ‘Maharashtra Gad-Durg Rakshan Samiti’. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s proclamation in the mouth, saffron cap on the head, saffron flags and placards in the hands for demands ; along with this, the fort lovers, dressed as trumpeters and mavalas (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s soldiers), enthusiastically participated in this grand march and cheered the government and the public for the protection of the forts. In the march from Metro Cinema in Mumbai to Azad Maidan, Narveer Tanaji Malusare’s descendant Subhedar Shri. Kunal Malusare, descendant of Bajiprabhu Deshpande Shri. Sandesh Deshpande, Dharamveer Sambhaji Maharaj’s mother Gade Patil and Sarnobat Antojiraje Gade Patil’s descendant Shri. Amit Gade, Veer Koyaji Bandal’s descendant Shri Akshay Bandal, Moropant Pingle’s descendant Shri. Vishwajit Deshpande, Mr. Krishnaji Gaikwad’s descendant Mr. Appasaheb Gaikwad, Veer Shiva Kashid’s descendant Shri. Anandrao Kashid, Shri. Pantajikaka Bokil’s descendant Shri. Gaurav Bokil etc, all these descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaraya’s mavalas (soldiers) were present in this march which was really eye-catching.
Along with this ‘Samast Hindu Bandhav Sangahtana’s Shri. Ravindra Padwal, Executive Chairman of ‘Swatantryaveer Savarkar National Memorial’ Mr. Ranjit Savarkar, Co-ordinator of ‘Maharashtra Gad-Durg Rakshan Samiti’ and Maharashtra State Organizer of ‘Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’ Mr. Sunil Ghanwat, Director of ‘Sri Parashuram Tapovan Ashrama’ at Vasai, Bhargava Shri B.P. Sachinwala, National President of ‘Dharmasabha-Vidvatsangha’ of Srimajjagadguru Shankaracharya Pitha, Vedamurthy Dhananjayashastri Vaidya, Sadguru (Ms.) Anuradha Wadekar of Sanatan Sanstha were present in this procession. In this procession more than 100 fort lover organizations’ representatives were present along with representatives of Samasta Hindu Bandhav Sanghatana, Shiv Rajyabhishek Samiti, Maratha Warriors, Gad-Durg Sankhartha Association, Durgveer Pratishthan, Shri Shambhudurg Pratishthan, Shri Shivpratisthan Hindusthan, Shri Shivkarya Pratishthan, Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Mandai, Raigad Sanvardhan Pratishthan, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Ranragini ( Women’s Branch), Yuva Maratha Federation, Shivvandaneshwar Pratishthan, Swatantra Savarna Sena, Hindu Dharma Jagaran, Sanatan Sanstha, Akhil Bharatiya Maratha Seva Maha-sangh, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh etc. were present.
At this time Samasta Hindu Bandhav Sanghatana’s Mr. Padwal gave guidance on why it is necessary to establish a corporation for the protection of forts. Descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s mavale (Soldiers) also expressed their views on this occasion. Explaining the role of ‘Maharashtra Gad-Durg Rakshan Samiti’ behind this march, Shri Sunil Ghanwat said that more than 100 unauthorized RCC constructions were revealed in Vishalgarh. Similarly, houses, graves, darghas, mosques and other types of encroachments have been illegally encroached on 35 important forts of the state including Raigad, Lohgad, Kolaba, Vandangad, Durgadi Fort. These encroachments on the forts of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj are not only offensive to the beliefs of Shiva lovers, but also cause great annoyance. Officials of Archeology Department who are responsible for this should get registered and legal action should be taken against them.
At this time various demands were made which are as follows. Drunkenness, mutilation, unsanitary etc. in the places of many forts should be stopped, also the archeology department should pay attention to stop the large-scale collapse of many forts, dilapidated towers and cannons. The government should appoint sufficient staff for the conservation of the forts, and for the regular cleaning and sanctity of the forts, the government should take the help of fort-loving organizations. The Department of Archeology should launch a website that provides proper information and legal aspects of all the forts. There should be a facility for citizens to complain. The representatives working for the conservation of the forts, the descendants of the mavlas, the lovers of forts and Shiva lovers in the fort area in the corporation to be established for the protection of forts.