The Maharashtra government on Thursday accorded the status of ‘Mega Project’ to Shiv Srishti, the under-construction memorial of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji. The project is being developed at Ambegaon Budhruk by Maharaja Shivchatrapati Pratishthan, led by historian Babasaheb Purandare.
The Maharashtra Tourism policy, which was implemented in 2016, ensures various concessions to a ‘Mega Project’. The high-level committee that decided the status of the project had taken up the proposal in November 2017.
“The Pratishthan is going to develop the theme park Shiv Srishti at Ambegaon Budhruk alongside the Katraj-Mumbai bypass. It is expected to have a fixed capital investment of Rs 300 crore and direct employment generation for 300 people. It has been accorded the ‘Mega Project’ status because it is fulfilling the norms under the Maharashtra Tourism policy of 2016,” a government resolution stated.
The status would be cancelled automatically if the norms and guidelines are violated in the project, it said.
Under the policy, a ‘Mega Project’ would get incentives for 10 years for 50 per cent VAT reimbursement, 50 per cent exemption in luxury tax and entertainment tax, 50 per cent exemption in electricity duty and 50 per cent exemption in stamp duty and registration charges, water tariff and electricity rate to be levied at the prevalent industrial rate for seven years from the date of operation.
It also enables base Floor Space Index of three for all mega tourism units subject to restrictions by the local civic body and 80 per cent of the total area can be permitted for tourism, with the remaining 20 per cent for activities that support tourism .
The project has also received environmental clearance from the Centre in August 2016. The project is being developed on a 16-acre land with public and semi-public buildings.
The Shiv Srishti will have a Killedar wada that has been constructed in 2004, entrance court, Shivaji Raje smarak, Raja Sabha, auditorium, Bajjar peth, Shilpa gram, Devrai, staff quarters and multi-level car parking.
According to the official website of Pratishthan, Shiv Srishti will be in the form of a collage of fort architecture. One can experience all the salient features of the lost fort architecture at Shiv Srishti. The cultural park itself will be a live fort bustling with numerous activities of that era. It well be equipped with an administrative centre, research library, multipurpose hall and exhibition galleries.
Purandare is known for his works on Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji. The state government had conferred on him the Maharashtra Bhushan award in 2015, which was opposed by Maratha organisation Sambhaji Brigade, which alleged that Purandare defamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj — a charge the historian has denied.