Shivaji statue contract bagged by L&T

The Maharasthra government’s ambitious plan to build a 210-metre tall statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj off the Mumbai coast moved a step closer to reality, as engineering giant Larsen & Toubro bagged the contract for its construction.

The state has awarded the Letter of Acceptance to the firm to build the memorial along the lines of the Statue of Liberty in New York, at an estimated cost of Rs.2,500 crore.

In January, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had directed the High Power Committee under chief secretary Sumit Mullick to expedite the work on the project and negotiate cost of the project with the company.

L&T, during the tendering process, had quoted Rs.3,826 crore for the contract, exceeding the cost estimated by the state government by Rs.1,326 crore.

“M/s L&T had qualified on all technical and financial aspects. Though it had originally quoted Rs.3,826 crore in the first round of bidding, after a lot of negotiations, the project was awarded to L&T at Rs.2,500 crore plus GST,” said a statement released by the state.

The contract has been awarded over a year after prime minister Narendra Modi performed the bhoomipujan for the project in December 2016.

The state has already secured clearances from all twelve agencies to go ahead with the project.

The work is expected to begin before the monsoon, said officials.

The contractor is expected to start the soil testing in the Arabian Sea in a couple of months, once the workforce has been mobilised.

The proposed memorial is to be built on 6.8 hectares of reclaimed land in the middle of the Arabian Sea.

The location decided is 1.2 kilometres from Raj Bhavan, 3.6 kilometres from Girgaum Chowpatty, and 2.6 kilometres from Nariman Point.

The memorial, whose architecture is said to be inspired by the Maratha empire, has been proposed to cater to 10,000 guests a day.

The second phase of the project will include the construction of an amphitheatre, a temple, a library and a hospital.

The project has faced opposition from citizens and environmentalist groups, who claim that a mid-sea memorial will have a severe environmental impact.

The Koli fishing community have also opposed the construction of the memorial, stating that it would impact the movement and breeding patterns of fish and have an adverse impact on their livelihood.

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