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No documents on status of 309-ft Shivaji statue
Reply to RTI filed by Vishal Dadlani reveals that govt has no papers about status of the statue off Nariman Point.
Mumbai: Building an iconic 309 ft-tall Shivaji statue in the middle of Arabian Sea was one of the most important campaign issues for the Congress-NCP during the 2009 state assembly elections. However, two years on and with Shivaji Jayanti on Saturday, nobody knows what happened to the Rs 350-crore project.
'Waste of money'
Singer and music director Vishal Dadlani, who has been protesting the 'waste of taxpayers' money' for more than a year, said, "In the past year and more, some lawyers and I filed RTI applications with not less than two dozen state-run offices, including the public works, environment, tourism and cultural departments.
The reply we got is they had no documents relating to the statue." Stating that the reply triggered mixed emotions in him, he added, "I am upset that the politicians made a fool of us.
They played vote-bank politics and we all fell prey to them. When the building of the statue was proposed, all the parties had to come together, because everyone had their own political agenda to fulfil.
"On the other hand, I am happy construction of the statue has not begun. This means that hard-earned taxpayers' money won't go waste. We have basic amenities, like roads, to look after.
The money that the government is planning to spend can be used for better purposes. It should not be used to play politics in the name of the great king," he said.
The Other Side
PWD and tourism minister Chhagan Bhujbal initially said he wasn't aware of the statue's status. Later, however, he said, "There are certain clearances, especially the environment one, that are pending."
Prior to the state assembly elections, the government had announced its plan to construct a Shivaji statue about 1 km off the Mumbai coast near Nariman Point. The government planned to make it taller than America's Statue of Liberty and it was supposed to house a museum as well.