Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on board a hovercraft in the Arabian Sea off the Mumbai coast.
The main feature of the Shivaji memorial is that it costs Rs. 3,600 crore. Along with Prime Minister Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ally Shiv Sena's chief Uddhav Thackeray were also present on board the hovercraft.
The Maharashtra Government will fund the entire project and has already set aside Rs. 2,300 crore for the first phase of construction.
The memorial project has been facing stiff opposition from fishermen and environmentalists, who have alleged that it would affect marine life and ecology of the Arabian Sea.
The Prime Minister's visit assumes political significance as the high-stake elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are just a few months away.
The Prime Minister is on a day-long visit to Maharashtra and will now head to Pune, where he will lay the foundation stone of the Pune Metro Rail project at the Agriculture College ground there.