Maharashtra wants to fast track Shivaji memorial proposal


Mumbai: Hoping to fast track the proposed showpiece Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial in the Arabian Sea, the Maharashtra government indicated Thursday it will discuss the issue of clearances with the centre next week.

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Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said he would take up the issue of expediting clearances for starting work on the project with Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan here next Tuesday.

Chavan told this to reporters after making a boat trip to the proposed site, a 16-hectare rocky area underwater in the Arabian Sea, off south Mumbai, that the proposal would required around 25 clearances.

The site is situated around four km in the sea from the Marine Drive and a km from Raj Bhavan on Malabar Hill.

The site has been suggested by a team of experts after surveying three probable sites in the vicinity for the proposed 309-ft statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Mumbai Guardian Minister Jayant Patil, Chavan examined the site, which would not require reclamation and affords comfortable low-tide water levels, thus not hampering movement of boats.

The proposed memorial, on the drawing board since a decade, is estimated to cost around Rs.100 crore and would have an open-air theatre, a museum on the life of the Maratha warrior-king and a library.

This will be the second important memorial coming up in south Mumbai area.

Another one, dedicated to Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar is planned on a 12-acre mill land on Dadar sea front.