Ambedkar memorial will be complete by April 2020, says Maharashtra CM Fadnavis
A day before the birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the Indu Mills premises, where the memorial of Dr Ambedkar is under construction and announced it would be completed before April 14, 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone in October 2015 for the memorial spread on 12 acres and estimated to cost of Rs766 crore. The statue will have a 351-foot tall statue of Dr Ambedkar. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is the nodal agency for the project, has completed 36% of the piling work for the project. The MMRDA has assured the government it will complete the project in two years.
“MMRDA has been directed to complete the work in the next two years. By next anniversary, the project work is expected to reach visible level as all the required permissions have already been obtained. The memorial will be appreciated by the followers of Dr Ambedkar spread across the world,” Fadnavis said.
According to officials from MMRDA, the 351-foot statue will include a pedestal of 90 feet. “There would be a 2.5km walkway taking the followers to straight to the feet of the statue to pay their respects. The pedestal will house a monumental building with various divisions related to the life of Dr Ambedkar,” an officer said.
The MMRDA has been funding the project, which is expected to escalate to Rs766 crore including consultant’s fees, incidental expenditure and cost variations.
“We have decided to preserve and convert the existing pond (at Indu Mills) as a replica of Chavdar Tale in the memory of Dr Ambedkar’s satyagrah demanding to allow the untouchables to fetch water from the lake in March 1927. The memorial will have a huge library with about 10,000 books, an auditorium with a capacity of 1,000 patrons and a meditation centre, besides a restaurant and parking facility,” said social justice minister Rajkumar Badole.
Meanwhile, followers of Dr Ambedkar and workers of various factions of the Republican Party are expected to visit Chaityabhoomi in large numbers in the backdrop of the Bhima-Koregaon violence on January 1. Observers from the Dalit community feel there will be a larger crowd than usual on Saturday.