Ambedkar memorial: Statue taller than that of Liberty sought

A 109-metre-tall sea-facing statue towering over Mumbai and taller than Statue of Liberty is what Dalit leaders say would be a fitting memorial for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

The Centre's announcement that it would hand over Indu Mill land to the Maharashtra government for the memorial has triggered a race among Dalit leaders and each one is making tall claims.

First off the block, Anandraj, grandson of Ambedkar, has submitted a concept to the state government with Skyline Architects.

The suggestion is a 109-metre-tall monument called Statue of Equality. Though inspired by Statue of Liberty, it will be 16 metres taller than the New York structure.

Anandraj has also proposed a massive convention centre with a lotus design.

The centre, which will include a convention hall, auditorium and a banquet hall, will hold over 7,000 people.

"The aim of the memorial is to show the profound impact Babasaheb Ambedkar had on the psyche of India," said Anandraj, who played an important role in the agitation for Indu Mill land.

Skyline Architects said they planned to give space-starved Mumbaikars a place to spend time.

"Though 12.5 acres have been allotted for the memorial, the ground coverage of structures is only 10 per cent. The remaining land will be turned into gardens and parks where people can come and spend time," said Saurabh Chatterjee, the planner.

A presentation was made to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. However, will the government agree is a question?

Anandraj plan for Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial

A 69-metre-tall sea-facing statue of Ambedkar will be mounted on a 40-metre-high pedestal containing a 5,000 square-foot museum, audio-visual zone and a library

A lotus-shaped auditorium with a convention centre for 5,000 people, banquet space for 1,000 people and assembly hall for 1,500

Nearly 90 per cent of the 12.5 acres will be transformed into parks and gardens having Buddhist stupas. There will also be a Buddha Park

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