Chavan says Shivaji memorial in sea is on

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has asserted that the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial will come up in the Arabian Sea.

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has asserted that the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial will come up in the Arabian Sea and the state would suggest amendments to coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms, if required, to push through the project.

He informed the state legislature council Monday that the Maharashtra government will make attempts to secure permission from the union Ministry of environment and forests within a year.

"We shall make all efforts to get the necessary permission within a year by suggesting amendments to the Coastal Regulations Act if required," Chavan said, while replying to a debate on the memorial in the house.

He pointed out that a high-level committee had gone into all aspects of the memorial in July 2005.

"The Indian Navy pointed to a submarine cable at the spot but did not object to the memorial. We are committed to constructing the memorial midsea," Chavan said on the proposed 309 feet statue which will be taller than the Statue of Liberty.

The project was given the green signal in June 2008 and in November 2008, 11 international firms responded to a competitive bid for the memorial.

Meanwhile, Chavan said he had spoken to former environment minister Jairam Ramesh for an in-principle approval for the project, but after his departure, the matter is pending.

The project, envisaging a statue of the 17th century Maratha warrior king around one kilometre off the coast, was undertaken by former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, now a union minister.

The complex will have a cafeteria, a garden and an open air theatre where people would be treated to a rich multilingual sound-and-light show on the life and times of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Apart from the statue, the state government plans to have a Chhatrapati Shivaji museum on the premises. It will exhibit the belongings and articles used by the great Maratha warrior king, and his discourses to the people which have become part of folklore.

IANS

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