The Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) has asked the saffron combine-led municipal corporation for permission to move the statue of Maratha warrior king Shivaji out of the premises of the airport named after him.
The MIAL finds that the statue, erected in 1999, is obstructing the airport’s expansion. Attempts to contact MIAL authorities were unsuccessful.
“The MIAL has asked the civic body to permit the relocation of the statue to the junction of Marol Pipeline Road and Airport Road,” Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic Standing Committee, said. He, however, opposed the proposal and has said the municipal commissioner should not allow this.
The Shiv Sena, which heads the BMC with the Bharatiya Janata Party, has decided to agitate against the MIAL. “We will oppose the move and agitate against the MIAL’s proposal,” said Shewale.
Vikram Pawar, deputy municipal commissioner of the area said he was not aware of the issue even as former corporator Nicholas Almeida claimed that BMC’s Water department had already allowed the statue to be relocated to Marol Pipeline.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre had installed the statue on the airport premises in 1999. Former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had unveiled the statue in the presence of Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray garlands the statue every year on Shiv Jayanti.