Newsworthy

Shivaji Smarak in Arabian Sea To Be A Reality Soon: Maharashtra Government Awards Tender To L&T

shivaji smarak

The Maharashtra govt gave the letter of acceptance to L&T to build the Shivaji statue at a cost Rs2,500 crore on an EPC model

Mumbai: The 210-metre-high Shivaji statue has moved closer to reality with the Maharashtra government finally awarding the contract to build the much-delayed memorial in the Arabian Sea to engineering major Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T).

The Devendra Fadnavis-led government on Thursday gave the letter of acceptance to L&T that will build the Shivaji statue at a cost Rs2,500 crore on an engineering, procurement and construction model.

Maharashtra had received three bids: from Reliance Infrastructure, Afcons Infrastructure and L&T in the second round of bidding. In the first bidding round around two years ago, L&T had quoted Rs3,826 crore for the project, which was Rs1,326 crore more than the cost estimated by the government and thus rejected.

Government had pegged the overall project cost at Rs3,600 crore, with Rs1,100 crore for the second phase and the entire cost will be funded by public money.

“L&T had qualified on all technical and financial aspects. Though it had originally quoted Rs3,826 crore in the first round of bidding, after a lot of negotiations, the project was awarded to L&T at Rs2,500 crore plus GST,” a release from the state said.

While RInfra lost the bid on technical competition round, Afcons quoted a project cost of Rs4,779 crore.

The Shiva statue, to be built on 6.8 hectares of reclaimed land in the middle of the Arabian Sea off the Malabar Hill in south Mumbai, has been mired in controversy after the project cost ballooned to Rs3,600 crore from what was first proposed eight years ago at just Rs260 crore.

Aspiring to make the Shivaji statue the world’s tallest monument, the state had sought approval from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority to increase the height from 192 to 210 metres. In total, it had sought approvals from 10 different state and central departments.

The Maharashtra government wants the Shivaji statue to be taller than the 208-metre-high Spring Temple Buddha statue in China, built on a hill, which was completed in 2008.

The Shivaji memorial will have a temple, museum, hospital, entrance modelled on the Raigad Fort, which was the headquarters of the emperor, and a theatre showcasing highlights of the Maratha warrior king’s life. Another major feature is a lift that will take visitors right up to 180 metres or 60 floors inside the memorial, giving them a view from such height.

A PIL was filed in the Bombay high court last January against the project and sought to scrap the plan.

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