Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone for the ambitious Shivaji Smarak, a grand statue and memorial of Maratha emperor Shivaji in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai.
Besides the Chhatrapati Shivaji Smarak bhoomi puja, Narendra Modi will also lay the foundation stone for two metro corridors in Mumbai Trans Harbour Link and later on for the Pune metro rail project phase 1.
Narendra Modi tweeted: “I am honoured to be getting the opportunity to perform the Bhoomipujan of Shiv Smarak.”
“Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is a torchbearer of courage, bravery and good governance. Shiv Smarak is a fitting tribute to him and his greatness.
The 192 meter (309 feet) tall Shivaji Smarak, translated to Shivaji Memorial, will come up on a tiny island in the middle of the Arabian Sea, 1.5 kilometers off the Raj Bhavan shore in South Mumbai.
Investment that will be put on the Shivaji Smarak which is likely to be in the lines of Statue of Liberty is a whooping Rs. 3,600 crore. Contract to build provide the Project Management Consultancy services for the Shivaji Smarak was awarded to French company Egis which handles the maintenance of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Shivaji Smarak Video
Shivaji Smarak will indeed be a highly ambitious project for the Maharashtra Government as it will be taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the Shivaji Smarak tweeted: “Come what may, we will ensure that world’s tallest memorial of our great King, Chhatrapati will be built in the Arabian Sea.”
The Shivaji Memorial is expected to become an important tourist attraction in Mumbai. Although it is likely to earn major revenue as a tourist interest, critics are seeing it as a waste of money which otherwise could have been spent on developmental projects that are useful for the public.
After its completion, the Shivaji Smarak is likely to become the tallest statue in the world. It will be about eight meters taller than another ambitious statue which is coming up in India, of Sardar Vallabhai Patel dubbed as The Statue Of Unity in Gujarat.
Interestingly, the consultant for The Statue Of Unity to be installed near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the Narmada district is also Egis.
Apart from the Shivaji statue and memorial, the rocky island in Arabian Sea will also have a 4000 square meters art museum, a 500-seater amphitheatre and a 2000-seater auditorium.
The Shivaji Smarak project will also feature an exhibition gallery, a world class aquarium, library, helipads among others facilities.