The state government has said the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has given a favourable report on Shivaji Memorial, which is proposed to come up in the Arabian Sea off Marine Drive.
“NEERI’s Environmental Impact Assessment Report is favourable, saying that the project is feasible,” said P S Meena, additional chief secretary (organisation and management), General Administration Department. Meena, however, added that certain aspects, such as traffic and evacuation procedures in case of emergency, still needed to be evaluated. “We have asked them to look into these issues and submit a report in a week. Only after that will we be able to take the project to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for approval,” Meena said.
With elections around the corner, the Maharashtra government has been looking at expediting plans to statue of Shivaji in the Arabian Sea, off Marine Drive.
A high-powered committee headed by the city’s guardian minister and NCP leader Jayant Patil has shelved the plans approved by former CM Ashok Chavan and started afresh, based on a new concept design by JJ School of Architecture. According to the new plan, the Shivaji statue will be the tallest in the world at 190 m, taller than even the proposed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue (182 m) in Gujarat.
NEERI and National Institute of Oceanography had been asked to draft an Environmental Impact Assessment report for the project, a pre-requisite for clearance from the MoEF.