ON THE eve of B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said that work on the Dalit icon’s memorial at Indu Mills in Dadar area will be completed by April 14, 2020. The memorial, which will come up on 12.5 acres of Indu Mills land, is estimated to cost Rs 550 crore.
The highlight of the project is a 350-metre tall statue of Ambedkar that can be seen across the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. On Friday, Fadnavis visited the Indu Mills compound to review the project, which has been landscaped and designed by architect Sashi Prabhu. Work at the site is likely to commence next month.
“It is our commitment to build a magnificent memorial of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at Indu Mills compound. We want to make it a world class project, which would commensurate with the stature of Ambedkar, whose academic excellence and knowledge in diverse subjects, from agriculture to economics, is well documented in his life and works,” he said.
Fadnavis added that all administrative clearances from the Centre, including the transfer of land title for the project, have been completed. “The hardwork would ensure visible progress by 2019. And the entire project, which has been meticulously planned and followed, will be completed by April 14, 2020.”
Conceding that the process of land rights transfer and environmental clearances, coupled with getting consent from various quarters for the design, was a long process, Fadnavis said: “There will be no compromise on the grandeur of the project. It has to meet international standards.” He directed officials to strictly maintain the plan and follow the deadline.
The state government had got the Indu Mills land — belonging to the National Textile Mills — transferred in the name of the Maharashtra government to facilitate construction on the entire 12.5 acres. The memorial, depicting the life and journey of Ambedkar, is set to be built as a global centre for excellence, attracting visitors from India and abroad. Earlier, the government had purchased a 2,050-sq foot residence for Rs 40 crore in London, where Ambedkar used to live, and converted it to an international study centre.