The cost may have risen from Rs 700 crore to Rs 3,600 crore, but that hasn’t stopped the Maharashtra government from approving the project to build a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai. 

A Times of India report said that the state govenment has approved the plan to build the massive statue despite not having adequate funds and plans to ask the central government to contribute funds for the project.

The state government plans to develop the grand memorial of the Maratha warrior king in the Arabian sea off Girgaum chowpatty in south Mumbai, which it claims will be the tallest statue in the world. 

Here’s an example of what it might look like:

The cost of the project, which was first announced by the Congress-NCP government in the state in 2009, was then pegged at Rs 700 crore but ballooned over the years. 

A few days back, the government invited tenders quoting the total project cost to be Rs 3,600 crore. The state government has already made a provision of Rs 100 crore for the memorial, which is to be completed by 2019. No work has been undertaken on the project so far. 

The National Green Tribunal is also hearing a petition against the project and environmental clearances granted for its construction. 

Two state-run agencies say they don’t want to be part of project

The city’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, and power supplier Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST) have said they cannot lay underwater pipelines and cables due to lack of expertise. 

The BMC and the power utility want the work of laying water pipelines and electricity cables to be given to other agencies. 

b”xc2xa0An artist’s impression of what it might look like | Source: Maharashtra government”

“So far, the BMC has hardly done any work like the Shivaji memorial, where we will be the sole agency for water supply for daily use. BMC needs to lay a pipeline below sea water. But it does not have expertise to carry out such work and it has been already communicated to the government. If a separate agency is roped in for construction of the same, then we can supply water,” an official of BMC water supply department told PTI. 

The state has not communicated its daily requirement of water for carrying out construction as well as once the memorial is opened for people. 

A senior engineer of BEST said “during the erstwhile Congress-NCP rule, it was mooted to construct a common duct for water pipeline, electricity cables and for movement of tourists, though it hardly came on paper”.