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  • Kayaan Shah

Shivaji Memorial Statue: Is it just a waste of money?

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial is a monument dedicated to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, being built in the Arabian Sea near the coast of Mumbai.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the statue on 24th December 2016 and the construction will be completed in October 2022. The cost of the statue is around ₹3,600 crore. Many citizens questioned the need for the monument and stated that it could have been utilized for other purposes. Environmentalists believed that it would affect marine life and ecology. Fishermen also stated that they were against the project because most fish were found near the area the statue will be built in. The fishermen have been protesting against the construction but no one is there to listen to their problems and the fact that their income will be affected by this decision. There are definitely better ways to honor Shivaji. There are also environmental concerns, such as building a structure of around 15 hectares would largely affect the marine life of Arabian Sea.

An amount of ₹3,600 crores seems like just a waste of money. This could have been utilized in many different ways especially with so many problems going around right now. For example, the economic survey table shows Maharashtra is in a debt of 3.3 lakh crores. Several parts of Mumbai have been severely affected by waterlogging due to the recent heavy rains during the monsoon, causing a lot of traffic jams. Waterlogging has always been a problem in Mumbai during the monsoons.

A political element has also been involved in the construction of the Shivaji Memorial Project. The Indian National Congress delayed the project and BJP finds it as an opportunity to show people that they have the upper hand when it comes to the welfare of the community. Shiv Sena wants a part of the credit too but BJP is bent on not sharing it. This project was delayed for a year and a half so that it could hatch just in time for the BMC polls.

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