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Fishermen community to oppose Shivaji statue over height at NGT

A fishermen community organisation will approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the increase in height for the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial at Arabian Sea near Nariman Point. The organisation, Akhil Maharashtra Machimar Kriti Samiti(AMMKS), will add its grievance against the height’s rise in its earlier petition to the NGT against the memorial’s construction. The earlier petition had alleged that it would result in a loss of livelihood for the community due to destruction of marine life at the site, which is also a huge catchment area for them.

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) had last week approved the proposal of increasing the height of the statue from 190 metres to 210 metres, making it the largest statue in the world. The fishermen community had moved the NGT, Pune last year against the project.

The petition by AMMKS and marine bioloist, Pradip Patade mentions that the routes of the ferry boats from Nariman Point and the Gateway of India will be through the fishing areas. “Without any procedure of public hearing, the state government has been going ahead with the project…If they conduct public hearing, the fishermen community will definitely send its objections. Otherwise, we have to resort to protests,” said Damodar Tandel, president of AMMKS.

Asim Sarode, the advocate appearing for the petitioner, stated that as no heed is being paid to the environmental aspects around the project and to the due process of public hearing, the petitioner would be adding the new cause of action considering it as a “callous behaviour” of the government.

However, Satish Gavai, the chairman of MCZMA has stated in the past that the state government has received clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for the increase in height of the statue along with other permissions, after which the MCZMA has approved the proposal.

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