Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has petitioned the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) for an in-principal approval for the proposed 309-feet equestrian statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea.
Chavan, in a letter to Union environment minister Jayanti Natarajan on May 2, pointed out that an approval under Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) was mandatory as the proposed monument was to be built one kilometre from Marine Drive.The letter comes after the Opposition had targeted the government over inaction on the proposed monument in the budget session of the state legislature. Subsequently, Chavan promised to get the MOEF go ahead within one year.
"The government of Maharashtra has decided to build a world class monument of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj…I request you to kindly give approval in-principal for the project. The detailed project report and building plan would be submitted later on, in the prescribed proforma,for getting the environmental clearance,'' said Chavan, in the letter.
The letter also stated that the monument will house a modern museum, an open air theatre that can seat around 200 people and a library to showcase artefacts used by the Maratha warrior king and some of his inspirational writings''.
A senior official pointed out that in-principal approval was sought from MOEF to give the project a special status to get a clearance under existing CRZ rules. If approved,the environment department will have to send a formal proposal seeking amendment to CRZ rules.