Shrouded in series of controversies ever since it came into existence, right from its participation in Germany’s Hannover messe industrial fair in 2015, the Make in India lion made a quiet exit from Udyog Bhawan ‘under the veil’ on Saturday.
Make in India’s machine lion with rotating gears and wheels, was dismantled from the raised platform at the entry gates of the Bhawan and moved to BHEL’s Noida facility.
The giant lion did not have the required permission from the concerned agencies including the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), the authorities said.
“Any structure that comes up in the Lutyens zone requires permission from various agencies. The concerned department did not have the permission for the same,” said Ramesh Abhishek, secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), the nodal agency for centre government’s Make in India campaign.
DIPP is responsible for the upkeep of Udyog Bhawan that houses ministry of commerce and industry, textile, heavy industries and medium, small enterprises.
The Make in India lion made its first appearance during the Republic Day parade in 2015. The electricity-propelled and with rotating gears, the lion was a special attraction then.
The same year, it travelled to Germany’s Hannover Messe to participate in the industrial fair there to showcase India’s engineering might. But it was kept aside there as it failed the safety standards.
On its return from Germany, the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited that had made the lion at the behest of the Ministry of Heavy Industries, installed it in a glass cage in the compound of Udyog Bhawan.
The lion was painted too in tri-colours to make it more attractive. The lion that participated in the Republic parade bore single metallic colour.
However, awaiting formal inauguration, the lion was covered in the blue veil (plastic sheets) and it remained so until it was removed from Udyog Bhawan on Saturday.
The controversy did not end here. The machine lion was initially operated with electricity with its gears and wheel rotating, attracting eyeballs of the passersby. It started developing technical snags because of the heat it generated in the glass cover, especially during summer.
Air-conditioners were installed to keep the glass cage cool initially.
However, according to sources, what rankled the DIPP was the cost of maintaining this structure that ran in few lakhs annually besides a covered structure under the blue veil at the entry gates of Udyog Bhawan.
The officials at the ministry of heavy industry that is housed in Udyog Bhawan only remained tight-lipped on the issue and refused to comment.