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    10 years gone, Shivaji statue yet to be ready

    HUBLI: A Mumbai-based sculptor got Rs 14.65 lakh from the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) to shape and deliver a bronze statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Even 10 years after the agreement, the statue is yet to be delivered.According to documents available with Express, sculptor Ravindra Munde of Ghatkopar in Mumbai had agreed to provide a bronze statue of Shivaji, measuring 12 feet in height on January 2002 at a cost of Rs 15.51 lakh. An advance of Rs 2.33 lakh was also paid to him in March 2002. However, an agreement was made in September 2003 (one-and-a-half years later) that Munde will supply the statue by November 2003. He had invited HDMC officials in May 2003 to inspect the sculpting work and demanded a payment of 35 per cent of the expenses incurred.However, according to the documents, there was no communication between HDMC and Munde till July 2007, when Munde himself asked for 25 per cent of the expenses and also received the same.HDMC issued a legal notice in November 2008 to Munde. Later, he again stated in his letter dated November 30, 2009, that he will deliver the statue within three months. When the Statue Committee members inspected Munde’s workshop, they stated that the work was not complete. Munde requested a payment of Rs 2 lakh to complete the work and by then had already received a total Rs 13.63 lakh from HDMC.The irony is that when he demanded an additional 25 per cent amount of the total agreed cost, HDMC agreed to pay 10 per cent and executed another agreement in August 2011. The deadline was extended to three months. Munde again failed to keep up his promise and now has failed to respond to the notices issued by HDMC and Dharwad District Consumers Disputes Redressal Forum, sources said.