Jayant Patil surveys possible locations for Shivaji statue in Arabian Sea

Jayant Patil

Less than 10 days after he was appointed head of a committee to study feasibility of installing a Shivaji statue in Arabian Sea, guardian minister Jayant Patil toured Friday possible locations off Mumbai coast. A hydrological survey of three shortlisted locations will be carried out and one finalised.

Patil said locations with hard rock on seabed were surveyed. "We have appointed two agencies to carry out a scientific survey of the shortlisted locations. Depth and other factors such as aesthetics and distance from coast will be studied."

However, Patil did not say if the 7.5 acres finalised by the Vilasrao Deshmukh regime was one of the possible locations.

The panel, appointed on December 20 during the winter session of the state assembly in Nagpur, will submit a detailed proposal within two months to get the 42-odd clearances required from Navy, marine authorities, security agencies and the environment ministry.

The idea to build a statue of the legendary Maratha king off Marine Drive was first mooted about nine years ago.

In 2008, the Congress-NCP government decided to install a 309-foot-tall Shivaji statue, four feet taller than Statue of Liberty, in Arabian Sea.

The state plans to create an artificial island off Marine Drive by reclaiming 7.5 acres about 1 km from the shore.

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