Mumbai The Maharashtra government on Tuesday directed the project proponents of Shivaji memorial statue to stop construction with immediate effect.A letter issued by the state public works department (PWD) to the project director of the private company, constructing the statue off the Mumbai coast, highlighted a recent Supreme Court (SC) order and verbal directions to the state’s counsel last Friday to stop going ahead with construction till the matter is heard.HT has a copy of the letter.“As per intimation of the order dated January 11 passed by the SC, the court has asked the state not to proceed with construction activity of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial (CSMM) in the Arabian Sea. You are requested not to proceed with construction activity with immediate effect,” read the letter issued by the executive engineer, CSMM project division, PWD, Cuffe Parade.HT had reported on Saturday that the SC bench consisting of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul had admitted a special leave petition (SPL), challenging the construction of the Shivaji memorial and issued notices to various respondents from the Maharashtra government and the Centre.The petition was filed by city-based environmentalist Debi Goenka from Conservation Action Trust (CAT) after seeking a stay on construction from the Bombay high court (HC). However, the HC did not grant a stay to Goenka’s petition and allowed the construction of the Rs 3,600- crore project.Goenka approached the Apex Court, saying that the Maharashtra government had not called for public consultation before going ahead with the project and had refused to address issues related to loss of marine biodiversity and environmental destruction. The counsel representing the state was present during the hearing on Friday as the Maharashtra government had filed a caveat prior to CAT moving Supreme Court.Another letter, which HT has a copy of, issued to the principal secretary, PWD by advocate Nishant R Katneshwarkar, counsel for the state in SC, highlighted the oral directions by the SC bench.“The court has orally asked the state not to proceed with the construction activity… the state will have to file a counter affidavit in response to SPL. You are, therefore, requested to depute a responsible officer to give instructions to prepare and file a counter affidavit,” the letter read.