Here’s a message for our government in a drought and election year: Mumbaiites don’t want their money spent on mega monuments; they’d rather it go to farmers.
Just 21 per cent of citizens surveyed in an HT-C fore survey thought the proposed mid-sea Shivaji memorial, estimated to cost Rs 350 crore (Rs 3.5 billion) was “a good idea”, while 71 per cent believed it was a “waste of taxpayers’ money”.
Contrary to the popular perception that Mumbaiites are indifferent to problems of rural Maharashtra, the survey indicated that most of us would rather that money be used to help drought-hit farmers than to get ourselves better roads or new rakes for local trains.
Though political leaders say the memorial is a matter of Maharashtrian pride, 60 per cent of Maharashtrians polled did not approve of the memorial, with only 35 per cent doing so. Non-Maharashtrians gave it an overwhelming thumbs down with 82 per cent saying it was a waste of their money.