Shivaji Memorial update

The Maharashtra state government said that the bhoomipujan (foundation laying ceremony) for the 312 ft-tall Shivaj statue would be performed in April-May, and that it will approach the Centre for in-principle approval after the feasibility and impact studies are completed in the next four months.
Guardian minister of Mumbai and the head of the high-power committee for the statue Jayant Patil said the project was on track. “Nearly 16 surveys and studies need to be conducted at and around the site in the Arabian Sea off Marine Lines in south Mumbai. Experts from National Environmental Engineering Research Institute are conducting the surveys, which require eight months to complete as they have to be done in all three seasons. Once the studies are completed in the next four months, we will approach the central government for primary approval. The bhoomipujan for the project would be done by April-May next year,” he said.
The minister said he recently visited the Statue of Liberty in the United States for the project. “We had a long discussion with the people associated with the national monument of the US. We have also brought a few documents, which will help us in preparing the design of the Shivaji statue,” Patil said.
“The statue is not a political agenda for us. We are concentrating on ensuring it is an iconic project. Environmental permission for a statue in the sea is a herculean task, but we will be able to expedite the project after the studies are completed,” the guardian minister said.
Patil said they have invited expressions of interest from architects across the globe.

The statue was announced by the Congress-NCP combine in their manifesto ahead of the 2004 elections. The DF government has been facing flak as the project has hardly progressed in nine years.

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