92745Work on Shivaji Statue at Chowpatty expedited
- Nov 26 12:27 AM
Work on Shivaji statues expedited
Times News Network
Jan 11, 2013
MUMBAI: Aware that it may not be able to fulfill its poll promise of installing a statue in the Arabian Sea before the 2014 elections, the Congress-NCP government is expediting work on similar structures elsewhere in the state.
With an eye on the Maratha vote bank, the government on Thursday fast-tracked work on installing a statue of the Maratha warrior at the Raigad Fort, where Shivaji's official coronation took place in 1674.
In a meeting with chief secretary JK Banthia, officials directed project contractors to come up with a design, with possibly Shivaji sitting on a thrown. Banthia has been asked to carry out repair work on an existing canopied pedestal built in 1985. Since then, a statue has been waiting to be installed because of Centre's objection.
Government officials said they have obtained necessary permissions for the projectfrom Central and state offices. Work will start once the contractor submits a suitable design .
"This project has been languishing because of financial issues with the contractor. We have now sorted it out and put the project on a fast-track," said an official.
The Mumbai project, to instal a 309-ft statue of Shivaji off the coastline with its height a few feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, has been dragging for long. The project first found mention in the joint manifesto announced by the Congress-NCP in 2004. In 2008, a consultant was appointed when the government shortlisted the design of a consortium following a competition. But that was soon called off. The original plan was to instal the statue on an artificial island created by reclaiming nearly 8 acres of land about 1 km off the shore at Girgaum Chowpatty. But so far no decision has been taken on a suitable location.