The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has given its nod to the Maharashtra government to proceed with the project linking Chaityabhoomi with Indu Mills where a memorial of Dr BR Ambedkar will be built.
The state government has engaged the Centre’s attention to get the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearances for the project. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will perform the bhoomi pujan of Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills compound on October 11.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “ My department has given the nod for the Dr Ambedkar Memorial at Indu Mills. All the nitty gritties related to the structural designs and layout will not be allowed to delay the project because of CRZ norms or any other environmental concerns. Our ministry has in principle given all clearances for the project.”
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Javadekar added, “Apart from the clearances already sought for the project, some questions are being raised regarding the link road that would come up connecting Chaityabhoomi with Indu Mills. I have given the nod for that too.”
The minister also clarified that rescheduling Modi’s dates for the bhoomi pujan from October 4 to October 11 has nothing to do with environmental clearances.
The Centre and state are working together to expedite the project, he further said.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “ All critical aspects related to the Dr Ambedkar Memorial was already discussed and cleared with the ministries concerned at the Centre in the last six months. Both the Centre and the state are committed to taking the mammoth project to its logical end in a time bound manner.”
Trying to explain the difference between his government and that of the previous Congress-NCP one, he said, “We are not looking at the Dr Ambedkar Memorial as a commercial project. We sincerely want a grand memorial of him which would match international standards. Apart from the memorial, we would like to see research work on his immense contribution in socio-economic and political fields. His relentless struggle to make India a casteless society cannot be overlooked.”
Fadnavis further said, “There would be no paucity of funds for the project which the Prime Minister himself is pursuing.”
The project, spread across 12 acres on Indu Mills at Shivaji Park (Dadar), is estimated to cost Rs 425 crore. Two weeks ago, the state government had given the nod for the design proposed by Shashi Prabhu and Associates for the project.
The dome-shaped structure, complete with sprawling lawns, ponds, auditorium, research centres, museum and library is also aimed to attract foreign tourists. The state government is keen to promote Dr Ambedkar Memorial as a landmark tourist centre.
Last week, the state government had completed acquisition of a 2,050 sq ft property in London where Ambedkar lived as a student in 1921-22. It will turn the property into a museum for overseas students to project the works and life of the Dalit leader and the architect of Indian constitution.