The environment ministry on Thursday gave its nod to a plan for constructing a grand statue for Maratha warrior king Shivaji in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai.
Union minister of state for environment and forest (MoEF) Prakash Javadekar said clearance has been given and a notification for the same would be out soon.
"The issue of having a statue of Shivaji Maharaj, which was pending for the last few years, has been sorted out. The chief minister of Maharashtra had discussion with me a few days back and I had assured him to expedite the process soon.
"Today, we have given clearance for the issue and a notification would be out by tonight," Javadekar told a news conference at Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi.
The Rs 1,400 crore memorial has been proposed on a rocky outcrop of 15.96 hectares some 1.2 km south-west of Raj Bhavan and 2.6km from west of Nariman Point.
The Congress-led Democratic Front government in Maharashtra had first made an announcement on Shivaji memorial in 2004. The issue had been pending since long as it had not got environment clearance. The then Congress-NCP government had also allocated Rs 100 crore for the project.
The memorial was supposed to be built on the lines of the Statue of Liberty in the US and Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari.
In July 2013, the former government, gearing up for polls, had given the project an 'in principal nod' even though it falls in Coastal Regulatory Zone I and IV in July 2013. In CRZ I, construction is banned but the 2011 notification is silent on CRZ IV. Following this the state's public works department (PWD) had prepared a detailed project report and submitted it to the centre.
The initial report by the PWD included three levels of pedestals- including an amphitheatre, museum, restaurants, garden, an aquarium, helipad etc. It had been proposed that two jetties- one at Gateway of India and one at Nariman Point- will be used to transport commuters to the island.
The state coastal body had given a go-ahead to the project but asked the state government to drop the plan for building a helipad in front of the building as it can pose risk to structural stability of the monument because to vibrations generated by plying helicopters.
While the report of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute was positive on the project, various other studies may still have to be conducted before the project gets underway.