Following criticism from local corporators, the BMC has decided to shift the seven Make in India lion installations from prominent locations in south Mumbai to the eastern suburbs this week. A team of senior BMC officials, created after the Make in India Week event was over, is now in the process of finalisng the new spots for the lions that were installed as part of the branding exercise for the event.
While four of the lions were installed at heritage sites including Gateway of India, BMC head office, Marine Drive and Kilachand Garden in Babulnath, the others were located at NSCI in Worli, MMRDA grounds and at the Worli end of Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Pallavi Darade said, “They will be moved to some public spots or traffic islands in the eastern suburbs.” The BMC would continue to maintain the installations. Sena corporator Avkash Jadhav wrote to the heritage committee last week stating that these were ‘disturbing the heritage precinct’ and they should be removed as per High Court directives. The Sena said the lions interfered with the aesthetics of the heritage precincts.
“If these installations were meant to be temporary, then it is fair in the spirit of the event. But after the event, they should be removed,” said Atul Kumar, a member of the Nariman Point Residents Association. The lion at Marine Drive was removed on Sunday evening.
The BMC’s idea of permanently installing one of these, a lion made of steel gear parts and weighing over a tonne and measuring 20 feet long, 9 feet tall and 3 feet wide, at Nariman Point, has also been scrapped.
“It took a long time to transport the lion due to its weight and there was no point of bringing it to the city after the event was over. The creative agency did not like the design either. So we scrapped the idea of installing it at Nariman Point,” said a civic official.