The state government on Thursday handed over the “letter of acceptance” to L&T for building a grand Shivaji Memorial in the Arabian Sea. The tender process, with the government awarding the work at Rs 2,500 crore, is perceived as the first significant step to take forward the mammoth project in Mumbai.
CM Devendra Fadnavis said, “It is truly a very happy and historic moment. Today, we have handed over the letter of acceptance to the L&T for the great warrior and revered king Chhatrapati Shivaji.”
While revealing that the government had taken the decision including all the multi-departmental clearances from the centre and other agencies including Navy in record time, the Chief Minister emphasised completion of the project within the timeline. “I have issued directives for the project to begin before the onset of monsoons,” the he said, adding, “This is a project which has been awaited in Maharashtra and across the country for the last 15 years.” Reiterating his government’s commitment to the Shivaji Memorial, he said, “Both the centre and state governments worked together to make the project a reality. It is going to be a monument of pride.”
While shortlisting the company for the project, the government engaged in hard negotiations to ensure quality work, and keep cost within bounds. The government has managed to keep the project cost at Rs 2,500 crore instead of Rs 3,200 crore as hinted in the past, thus, helping the state to save Rs 500 to Rs 700 crore. The memorial will feature a 192-metre-tall statue. The design is planned to project the king as a warrior mounted on the horse wielding a huge sword.
The project will be built on the basalt rocky plain 3.5 km into the Arabian Sea. Fadnavis explained that the project will be a journey into the life and works of Shivaji. A great effort has been made to make the state-of-the-art project to become an inspiration for people including generation next across the globe.
A light and sound programme depicting the life of Shivaji has been planned. Designed to cope with 10,000 visitors daily, the memorial would have auditoriums, jetties and walkways complete with a garden and food courts.
Since the project will be in the sea, there would be special security measures through complete CCTV network for 24×7 surveillance. Earlier, the Shivaji Maharaj Statue Committee president Vinayak Mete handed over the letter of acceptance to L&T director MV Satish and Shushant Sahadev in presence of Fadnavis. The project discussed during the Congress and NCP government had remained stuck, without any progress between 2004 and 2014. Fadnavis accorded the Shivaji Memorial project on highest priority beginning with getting clearances from various departments at the Centre. According to Mete, “The Shivaji Memorial will be a great inspiration for generation next.” Satish said, “It is a matter of great pride that we got to do the Shivaji Memorial project. We will work within the timeline to complete the project.”