The state government on Saturday officially received possession of 12.5 acres of land at Dadar’s Indu Mill on which a memorial of Dr Babasaheb Ambekdar will be built. National Textiles Corporation (NTC), which works under the Union textiles ministry, sold TDR (transfer of development rights) to the state government for Rs1,413 crore.
Union textiles minister Smriti Irani gave the land documents to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and minister of state for social justice Ramdas Athawale at the Vidhan Bhavan on Saturday. Fadnavis said the demolition of the old structures at the site had been completed and the bidding process for the construction of the memorial will soon begin .
According to officials, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the nodal agency for the project, will soon prepare a detailed project report and invite bidders. “The memorial is expected to cost more than Rs500 crore, including Rs200 crore towards the cost of the 350-ft statue of Dr Ambedkar. With minimal construction, the project cost has been kept low. But erecting such a tall statue will be major challenge for us,” said an official from Mantralaya.
The NTC has fetched more money from the sell of the TDR than the value of the plot, said the official. It will have to give the excess amount to the state government. In case of a lesser valuation of the TDR, the state will be liable to pay the difference.
State social justice minister Rajkumar Badole said, “Beside a parking lot, a library, a replica of Chavdar pond in Raigad, we plan to build a few viewing points to make the statue visible from all directions. We also plan a cyclorama for a 360 degree view and will probably be a first-of-its-kind experience in India.” The project will take about three years to complete, he said.
Prime minister Narendra Modi performed the bhoomipujan of the project at Indu Mills in Dadar on October 2015. After a tri-partite agreement between the state, centre and NTC was signed in April 2015. The dispute over the compensation model and the amount delayed the transfer of the land. The NTC had initially demanded Rs3,600 crore for the land. After the union cabinet’s nod in August 2016, the procedure of the actual transfer was completed this week. In the state assembly, Fadnavis said the transfer has taken place under section 11(a) of Sick Textile Undertakings (Nationalisation) Act 1974.