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Shiv Sena MP demands Shivaji statue in front of CSMT, not on the side

For beautification of CSMT, the Central Railway had planned the Shivaji statue in front of the P D’Mello road entrance.

mumbai Updated: Dec 13, 2017 23:55 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
Mumbai station,Shivaji statue,CSMT station
Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant got into a controversy on Wednesday, as he demanded a statue of king Shivaji be built in the front yard of CSMT.(HT File)

Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant got into a controversy on Wednesday, as he demanded a statue of king Shivaji be built in the front yard of UNESCO-listed, world heritage building – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), which houses the Central Railway (CR) headquarters.

The MP from South Mumbai constituency suggested that the statue be built in the circular garden in the front yard of CSMT. “Since the CSMT is named after Shivaji Maharaj, his statue should be placed in front of the main entrance,” said Sawant.

Replying to it, minister of state for railways, Rajen Gohain, said the government will certainly erect the Shivaji statue somewhere on the CSMT premises and fulfill his demand.

Later on, DK Sharma, general manager of central railway, said they plan to erect the statue on the P D’Mello road entrance, on the east side of the station. However, Sawant said they will not allow the statue to come up anywhere else.

For beautification of CSMT, the CR had planned a statue in front of the P D’Mello road entrance. JJ School of Art students prepared the concept plan for it. Union commerce minister Suresh Prabhu, during his tenure as railway minister, had prioritised it, but he was shifted out of the ministry before construction of the statue started.

Speaking at a railway function, Sawant said, “Who will see the statue on the back side of the station? The statue should be placed in front of the CSMT building which is named after Shivaji Maharaj.”

“We won’t let it happen and if needed, we will fight on streets,” said Sawant, adding that he had raised this demand in Parliament too.

According to experts, the UNESCO will not grant permission to set up the Shivaji statue in the front yard of CSMT.

“In case of grade one heritage structures, under which the CSMT building falls, only restoration and repairing is allowed; but no new structures that will mismatch its architecture will be allowed,” said an expert, who did not wish to be named.

ARWIND SAWANT SLAMS RAILWAY MINISTERS

Sawant also took dig at the railway minister for inaugurating every small passenger amenities and facilities like toilet to ticket windows and stealing the opportunities of local public representatives.“For many end to end FOBs, BMC give funds, but the railway minister inaugurated it,” he said.

Sawant also slammed the Centre for ignoring his demand about renaming Mumbai Central station to that of philanthropist and educationalist Nana Shunker Sheth. “His contribution in starting the first railway in the country was great,” he said.

First Published: Dec 13, 2017 23:55 IST