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State to build the tallest statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial in the Arabian Sea

In news concerning the Maratha warrior Shivaji Maharaj, Maharashtra government is all set to build the tallest statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial in the Arabian Sea and have increased the size from 192 metres to 210 metres. This comes after state government got the approval from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA).

After the Maharashtra government had moved the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to make changes in the environmental clearance granted earlier to accommodate the new dimensions of the proposed memorial, an MoEF expert panel had sought the recommendations of the MCZMA regarding the project. The MCZMA approval came in a meeting on Monday. Officials from the environment department said the proposal would now be sent to the MoEF for final approval on the building of statue, reported The Indian Express.

An expert panel of the MoEF had in September sought the MCZMA recommendations regarding the proposed changes on whether the height of the statue can be increased or not. The panel had also sought information on whether the ‘reclamation of the island is part of the project or the reclaimed island already exists’, its impact on environment.

The panel had sought the recommendations of the MCZMA. “We have cleared the proposal for increasing the height from 192 metres to 210 metres. We will now recommend it to the MoEF for final approval,” said Satish Gavai, additional chief secretary of environment department, who is also the chairman of the MCZMA.

According to the Public Works Department (PWD) of the state government, the monument of Shivaji includes a 126-metre tall equestrian statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj placed on a two-tiered pedestal of 84-metre height, reaching an overall height of 210 metres. It has also proposed to erect a fortified wall of 14 metres around the island to protect the area from seawater. The project is estimated to cost roughly around Rs 3,600 crore, making it one of the most expensive projects in recent times.

Besides, around 13.15 hectare (for phase I and II) has been allotted and proposed to be developed with various ancillary facilities like an art museum, amphitheatre and a helipad complex, exhibition gallery, landscaping, open space for viewing and galleries, cafeteria, lavatories, stalls and offices.

The Shivaji memorial is one of the important and prestigious programmes of the BJP-led government in the state with an eye on political benefits. In December 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the memorial by performing the ‘jal-poojan’.

The increase in height of the statue will make it the tallest in the world and in process will overtake the height of the Spring Temple Buddha in Zhaocun township of Lushan County in Henan, China. The height of the Buddha statue, including the height of the two pedestals, is 208 metres, making it the tallest in the world at present.

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