The state government has engaged the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) to examine the stability of the rock formation on the islet in the Arabian Sea where it intends to build a grand statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji.
This is necessary in the context of the state’s revised plan to build a taller statue than was proposed earlier that could go up to 200 metres, making it the tallest in the world. The earlier design proposed a height of 98 metres.
The new design will make it even bigger than the proposed statue of Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat which at 182 metres was touted as the world’s tallest.
The IIT-B group has been asked to prepare a report and submit it to the state government as early as possible.
The new plan will not require any landfill work as instead of a connecting road from the shore, it is planned to set up a boat service to the memorial that would make the experience for visitors more pleasurable.
According to official sources, the state government will spare no efforts to ensure that the Shivaji memorial is not less magnificent in design and size than the Statue of Unity planned by the Gujarat government.
Officials in charge of the project are closely watching what their Gujarat counterparts are planning for the Statue of Unity. One of the aspects they are studying is the metal cladding for the statue.
“We are considering bronze cladding for the equestrian statue that will be made of iron,” said an official. “We have to ensure that the structure survives for centuries, for which it must be able to withstand the vagaries of nature, whether it is an earthquake, cyclone or tsunami. So, it will be planned and built taking into account these requirements.”
The concept plan was prepared by the JJ School of Architecture and this will be circulated to various agencies, including the Ministry of Environment and Forests, for their study and approval. The process to appoint project management consultants will also be initiated shortly.
The islet in the sea on which the memorial is planned is about 1.5km from Raj Bhawan and 2.5km from Nariman Point. The state government had previously sought proposals from across the globe for this monument, the cost for which could now exceed Rs1,000 crore.