Fadnavis fixes date for Shivaji memorial

Fadnavis fixes date for Shivaji memorial

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday expressed the commitment of the BJP-Shiv Sena government in building grand memorials for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the great Maratha warrior and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Constitution.

The ground breaking ceremony for the statue of Shivaji in the Arabian Sea would be performed on February 19. “The bhoomi-poojan would be held on the occasion of next Shivaji Jayanti,” Fadnavis told the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly while replying to the motion of thanks to the address of Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.

It may be recalled that earlier Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar accorded the formal environmental clearance for the statue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to preside over the ground breaking ceremony in Mumbai on February 19.

“All hurdles would be removed and it will be a reality soon,” Fadnavis stated.
He also said that the state government was also committed to set up a memorial for Dr Ambedkar at the Indu Mills in Shivaji Park-Dadar. “The previous Democratic Front government had sent a proposal for these  to the Centre, but could not follow it up,” Fadnavis said taking a dig at his predecessors for not getting appropriate clearances for the two memorials.

The Shivaji Memorial was one of the election promises of the Congress-NCP alliance in 2004. The statue would be 1 km into the Arabian Sea overlooking the Marine Drive aka Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Marg or Queen’s Necklace with the historic Malabar Hill on one side and imposing Nariman Point on the other.

The statue along with the pedestal and foundation at 309-ft would be higher than the Statue of Liberty – and would be a major tourist attraction in this commercial capital.

The location would be opposite Girgaum Chowpatty.

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