Mumbai, Feb 6 (IANS) The proposed statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea off the Mumbai coast will be in the classic equestrian pose synonymous with the Maratha warrior king, a top official said here on Wednesday.
“There is no plan to change the design or pose of the statue, as speculated in some quarters.
“The decision has already been finalised that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj will be shown in his famous pose mounted on a horse flourishing a sword,” said the head of the group appointed by the state government to implement the project.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shiv Smarak Samiti (SSS) Chairman Vinayak Mete ruled out any suggestions that the grand sea memorial could have a statue of the 15th century founder of the Maratha Empire in a standing pose, similar to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue in adjoining Gujarat.
“The equestrian statue design is already finalised by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and myself and there is no question of any change now or in future,” Mete told IANS.
He added that work on the grand memorial was expected to resume after the Supreme Court’s decision in the matter on February 22.
The project is expected to give an edge to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections.
Earlier, in December 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone in a boat and performed a puja in the sea symbolising the foundation stone laying for the project.
Later in December 2018, Mete performed a symbolic ceremony marking the take-off of the much-discussed project, estimated to cost around Rs 3,000 crore.
Mete is monitoring the progress of the project on a regular basis to iron out any hiccups that could lead to further delays.
The proposed grand memorial will come up on a rocky sea floor which will be reclaimed to create an island of 130,000 sq mt, around 1.50 km off Marine Drive.
To be created by famed sculptor Ram V. Sutar, 93, the imposing statue will be 212-metre tall including the pedestal.
The entire memorial complex will include several attractions like a garden, library, food court, convention centre for 10,000 people, museum, exhibition gallery, amphitheatre, a hospital, a helipad and boat jetties.