Shivaji memorial: New location being studied

The rock is farther into sea than earlier identified site.

A sturdy rock with a span of 18 acres off Marine Drive is now being examined as the possible location for the proposed Shivaji memorial. The final report identifying the exact site is expected next week.

The rock, which usually lies three to four meters under sea, can be spotted from the shore during low tide. It is located farther into the sea from the earlier identified site. A hydrological survey is currently underway to finalise the site.

"An examination of the strata is currently underway. The report will be submitted by January 14 after which other details of the memorial can be worked out," said Mumbai Guardian Minister Jayant Patil.

A committee headed by Patil was formed during the recent winter session to suggest further action regarding the memorial, its location, nature and co-ordination with various agencies for permissions.

In 2008, Democratic Front government decided to erect a 309-ft Shivaji statue, four feet taller than the Statue of Liberty and the tallest in India - in the Arabian Sea off Marine Drive. The location was proposed to be at the centre of the curvature of Queen's Necklace, about 1 km from the shore, where the state planned to make an artificial island by reclaiming 7.5 acres.

This proposal complete with details of the structure has been gathering dust as environment clearances were thought to be a problem. Officials said 42-odd clearances from various agencies like the Navy, marine authorities, security agencies and environment ministry would be required for the memorial. "We have not dismissed the earlier location altogether, but have asked for a report on the new site. The government will have to decide on the nature of the memorial to be built," said Patil.

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