Free Press Journal

Shivaji Memorial: PWD clears L&T’s Rs 3,826-cr bid, project could cost Rs 5,000 cr


The tallest statue in the world, that of Shivaji will be erected in Arabian Sea by 2020 but that will happen at a huge cost. The government had estimated Rs 2,500 crore for phase 1 of the memorial and the Public Works Department (PWD) approved L&T’s Rs 3,826 crore bid to construct the phase 1. L&T’s bid of Rs 3,826 crore is Rs 1,326 crore more than the government’s estimate and that could be a problem. The government estimated Rs 1,100 crore for the second phase.

Also Read: Maharashtra can’t afford Shivaji memorial

Once the state cabinet approves’s the bid of L&T the total cost of the project will rise up to Rs 5,000 crore. Considering the cost of the project has almost doubled the state government might consider re-tendering.

According to report in Indian Express a citizens’ group, Apli Mumbai, which has been campaigning for the relocation of the memorial to Cross Island in Mumbai Port at a lesser cost, had earlier this month written to the PWD stating 25 reasons why the mid sea project was unviable. The group has claimed that no public hearing has been conducted as per the Environment Impact Assessment Procedure by stating that there are no affected persons.

“It must be accepted that there are affected persons, fishermen, those who place fishing stakes in the area, those who live on Marine Drive, those who visit Chowpatty beach, etc. Therefore, the decision to waive the public hearing has already been challenged and the situation requires to be rectified prior to proceeding further with the project,” Apli Mumbai has said in a letter written to the PWD.

The letter further claims the said site is not reachable by any vessels operating in Mumbai harbour registered under the Inland Vessels Act. For reasons of safety, these vessels are prohibited by the Mumbai Port Trust to cross a line joining Colaba Point to Thull Knob even during fair weather between September 1 and May 25.

“The EIA report by NIO/NEERI shows the wave heights in the monsoon months are 0.8m to 2.7m. The wave height tolerance for the boat design selected for the project is 0.5m. Hence the memorial site is unapproachable by any type of passenger boats at any time during the monsoon months,” the letter states.

The letter also points out the passenger boats specified in the project report may end up costing as much as Rs 10 crore per unit, which would be unaffordable for the tourist trade.

The state government is, however, sure that the concerns about the safety of the project have been already taken care off.