Mumbai: Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi architect and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has set the deadline for the construction of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's memorial at 2022. The memorial should be completed in the next two years, he instructed the state administration and the construction company.
This deadline seems to be set keeping an eye on the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation election scheduled in 2022. The Shapoorji Pallonji group was awarded the Ambedkar memorial construction work at Mumbai’s Indu Mills in December 2017 by the nodal agency MMRDA.
Shapoorji Pallonji has engineered and constructed several landmarks structures in India and abroad, including the RBI’s old and new buildings in south Mumbai. “The statue can be constructed in two years if contractors and officers take the work seriously and consider it as a challenge,” said Pawar.
“Till now, 25 per cent work has been completed and 75 per cent is yet to be completed. Many permissions were given and some are pending. There shall be no delay, as this is under our government,” warned Pawar.
The former union agriculture minister said that the memorial will be a centre of attraction in India and outside, particularly in countries where the Buddhist community has a large presence, such as Sri Lanka, Thailand and China.
Pawar said, he suggested the authorities implementing the project to ensure proper crowd management on April 14 and December 6 (birth and death anniversaries, respectively, of Ambedkar), as the number of the followers of the social reformer who visit Dadar on these two days was increasing.
He declined to comment on whether there was a delay on the part of the Devendra Fadnavis government in executing the project. On some people suggesting that the fund meant for the memorial be spent for another purposes, Pawar said everyone has a right to express their opinion.
"And there is a big section in the society that thinks it must guide (others) on every issue. Since such a section is big, one should accept what is right and ignore (what is not)," the NCP leader added.
Dalit leader and grandson of BR Ambedkar, Prakash Ambedkar, last Saturday, suggested the Bombay High Court to ask the government to utilise funds sanctioned for the proposed statue for the improvement of the functioning of the cash-strapped Wadia hospitals for women and children instead.
Asked about it, Pawar said, CM Uddhav Thackeray has already held a meeting regarding the issues faced by Wadia hospital that will receive funds from the state government and BMC.