Mumbai: The opposition parties in legislative assembly raised objection over the changes in the design of the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial off the Arabian Sea. Congress and NCP MLAs asked why the height of the statue of Shivaji has been reduced. The height of the statue has been reduced to 126 metres from 160 metres as proposed earlier. The opposition party members on Wednesday demanded an explanation from the government.
NCP leader Jayant Patil who raised the issue through an adjournment motion, said that the height of the statue has been decreased and the height of the pedestal has been increased. The proposed height of the pedestal was 32 metres, which has been increased to 84 metres while reducing the statue’s height. However, the total height of the memorial has increased from 192 metres to 210 metres.
Former chief minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan raised the issue of environment clearance as the design of the project has been changed. “The work of the project is yet to started because of fresh environment clearance has not been sought,” he said.
The leader of opposition, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, demanded a discussion on the issue setting aside the day’s agenda. NCP leader Ajit Pawar asked why the design was changed. He further accused the government of using Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s name only to get votes.
While replying to the opposition’s allegations, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar requested the opposition not to politicise the issue.
“Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue will be the biggest in the world. Shivaji Maharaj is our pride. The decision was taken to construct a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 2001. But the work order was issued by us in 2018. The government will complete the project during its tenure and asked the opposition not to politicise the issue,” he said.
However, the opposition members demanded a discussion on the issue and created a noisy scene in the Assembly. The house was adjourned for 10 minutes. After the house reassembled, Education Minister Vinod Tawde said that the opposition could not start the work of the memorial during their tenure and they are feeling uncomfortable. All opposition members were upset with Tawde’s comment and they staged a walkout in protest.