Shivaji Memorial in the Arabian Sea: Statue to tower on green foundation

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis has approved a proposal to use rubble from the 33.5-km-long Colaba-Seepz underground Metro line for building the memorial in the sea.

Written by Sandeep Ashar | Mumbai | Updated: December 24, 2016 10:43 am
The CM with a pot of water that will be used in the jalpujan. Prashant Nadkar The CM with a pot of water that will be used in the jalpujan. Prashant Nadkar

Maharashtra’s project to build a 210-metre tall memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji on a 16-hectare islet in the Arabian Sea may have angered environmentalists, but the project will break ground on a “green” note. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has approved a proposal to use rubble from the 33.5-km-long Colaba-Seepz underground Metro line for building the memorial in the sea.

While the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation had earlier identified quarries in Raigad and Thane district where all the rubble excavated for Mumbai’s first underground Metro project could be transported, Fadnavis confirmed that he recently approved an alternate plan to put it to use for the memorial project.

Ahead of the crucial Mumbai municipal polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fly down to the financial capital on Saturday for laying the foundation stone for the Rs 3,600-crore memorial project. Faced with protests from the Maratha community over the demand for reservations in education and jobs, the ruling BJP in the state is marketing the memorial’s rollout as their vachanpurti or fulfillment of promise.

Work for construction of the underground Metro has already broken ground and is aimed for completion in three-and-a-half years. Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, MMRC, which is implementing the Metro line project, said, “An estimated 5-6 million cubic metre of hard rock is expected to be excavated from tunnelling activity and building stations for the Metro project. This would translate into an estimated 10-12 million cubic metre of sand on crushing.”

According to information, it was the MMRC that first approached various state and central government agencies for “repurposing” or “reusing” this excavated earth about a year ago after results of the geotesting and soil sampling for the Metro route revealed “good quality basalt rock” was to be dug up.

“The Shivaji memorial plan was in conception stage at that time. We had also proposed that the sand can be put to use for building the (proposed) Mumbai coastal road project, and also for various development activities being planned by the Mumbai Port Trust and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT),” Bhide said.

After the Shivaji memorial project had been finalised and all permissions obtained, the state Public Works Department (PWD) and senior bureaucrats in the CMO assessed the MMRC’s proposal. “The rock islet where the memorial is being built submerges during high tide. To build the memorial and set up allied facilities, we would need tonnes of sand. So instead of sand dredged from other parts, it was felt that it would be environmentally and economically sound to reuse the excavated sand from the Metro project,” said a top government source.

The sources said that the CMO has plans to also use the Metro waste for the coastal road project. Bhide, meanwhile, said that even the JNPT had written to the MMRC for supply of the excavated sand.

Some of the arrangements for transportation of the rubble to the memorial site are already in place. “About six months ago, the chief minister had permitted the MMRC to utilise a jetty near the Bandra end of the Bandra Worli Sea Link. This could be used for the transportation of the muck in barrages to the memorial site,” said Bhide. She further informed that her agency was also in talks with JNPT authorities for allowing a similar operation for another jetty (Kerosene jetty) in Sewri.

The Metro project has already begun excavation for some of stations proposed along the route, while tunneling activity, she said, would commence next August. “About 30 per cent of the rubble is expected to be generated in the first year itself,” she said.

But some milestones remain to be achieved. “We would need about 4 hectare land for unloading the excavated earth at the Bandra jetty site. We have written to the Mumbai municipality, which possesses an adjoining land parcel, for making land available,” Bhide said.

The contractors building the Metro might also come into play since their contracts had built in the cost for transportation to the quarries. “But it is obvious that the cost for transportation to the memorial would be lesser than transportation to the quarries situated outside the city. So there should be no objection from the contractors,” a source said. The state Public Works Department would need to formally enroll the Metro contractors for the sand transportation.

The Metro rubble would also have to be sent to the quarries or used for some other development project during monsoon, when transportation to the memorial site may not be possible, said sources.

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  1. S
    Sharath K
    Dec 24, 2016 at 9:13 am
    First do needful to farmer n poor people,then look over shivaji;br/gt;Do scheme in the name of shivaji to betterment of poor.Rs.3600cr is huge.
    1. V
      V M
      Dec 24, 2016 at 6:14 am
      Devendra Fadnavis will make the landmark for pride of present and future generations. He will also help transform India from a poor nation to a rich nation in coming 20 years. Sun is rising on horizon. This is a precious symbol.
      1. M
        Dec 24, 2016 at 1:14 pm
        the nonsensical people who are making noise against this.. just get the numbers for the money indian spend going to a statue of liberty tour and photo for a year .. now just think of an idol they can relate to and mark my words in 10 years time this will be the highlight of indian tourism sites... and its all being made on rublle excavated from mumbai metro.. may common sense prevail for indians... its is something which will be really good.. money better spent than what congress would have done another mini 2g,3g,chara scam..
        1. L
          Lucky Me
          Dec 23, 2016 at 10:06 pm
          Farmers of Maharashtra are dying , highest number of suicide taking place in Maharashtra due to hunger , and these Chaddis are wasting money ( or you can say Scamming ) to fill their own pockets. Have same you Chaddis.
          1. M
            my passport
            Dec 24, 2016 at 11:00 am
            Rs 3,600-crore memorial project and bamboooooooooooooo for farmrs and poor.
            1. M
              my passport
              Dec 24, 2016 at 11:01 am
              Rs 3,600-crore memorial project and Sun is rising hu hahahaha great s.
              1. R
                Dec 28, 2016 at 7:17 am
                Short-sighted pport !
                1. R
                  Dec 27, 2016 at 5:39 pm
                  out of 3500 crore 1500 crore will be the labor charges, 3500 is not for only statue, but for the complete islet.. Including park, hotels, playground, hall, metro tunnels.. Totally a tourism spot... expecting yearly 10 crore revenue... People of Maharashtra are the beneficiaries... And the Maharastra tourism.. After 20 years, your kids will hail Modi.. Mind it!! :p
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