Mumbai, November 2: The Bombay High Court has refused to give an interim stay on the construction of Chhatrapati Shivaji statue in the Arabian Sea near Mumbai. Yesterday, the Maharashtra government told the court that it was considering levying charges on visitors of the proposed statue to recover part of the Rs 3,600 crore project cost.
A division bench of Chief Justice N H Patil and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing petitions filed against the project claiming it to be "illogical and uncalled for". The petitions criticised the government for spending Rs 3,600 crore on the memorial as the state is reeling under a drought-like situation. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj 338th Death Anniversary Special: 10 Facts About The Great Indian Warrior King!
Senior counsel VA Thorat, appearing for the state government told the bench the government had examined every aspect, including safety and environmental issues, before beginning work on the project. He further said a disaster management and evacuation plan was also in place.
The state government has increased the height of the statue from 192 metres to 210 meters. Thorat claimed that the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) authority had given the government permission to increase the height of the statue. The Maharashtra government had initially proposed the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji 121.2 metres tall. The sculpture of the warrior king on his horse was to be made 83.2 metres tall with a 38-metre sword.
However, under the newly-proposed plan, the height of the sculpture has been reduced to 75.7 metres, and the length of the sword raised to 45.5 metres, maintaining the statue height of 121.2 metres. In June this year, the government entered into an agreement with Larsen and Toubro for the project. It will take approximately 36 months to build the statue.
(With inputs from PTI)