Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a day’s visit to Maharashtra today, where he will lay the foundation stone for Shivaji Memorial, the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the metro rail projects in Mumbai and Pune. Prime Minister Modi land in Mumbai around 11:30 AM and left for MIDC Patalganga in neighbouring Raigad district where he inaugurated the newly-built campus of the National Institute of Securities Management – SEBI’s new campus.
At MIDC, the PM said the government will not take any short-term decisions for political gains and that notes ban will yield long terms gains for the country. The PM also added that the government would not shy away from taking tough economic measures.
The Prime Minister will later today move towards Girgaum Chowpatty for the Shivaji Memorial event.
He will proceed to the site in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast, where the state government is planning to build a mega memorial for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The Prime Minister’s visit assumes political significance as the high-stake elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are just a few months away.
The main feature of the Shivaji memorial, slated to cost Rs 3,600 crore, will be a 192-metre-tall statue of the iconic Maratha king. The site is a rocky outcrop, roughly 1.5 km from the Raj Bhavan shore.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently said the ‘Shiv Smarak’ will not only be the tallest memorial in the country, but in the entire world. He had thanked PM Modi for “making it possible.”An official said those who would accompany PM Modi in the hovercraft to the ‘jalpujan and bhumipujan’ venue off Mumbai coast, will include Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP’s Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale and BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP from Kolhapur Sambhaji Raje Bhosle.Later, PM Modi will address a public function at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ground in suburban Bandra, after laying foundation stone for two Metro rail projects, Elevated Rail Corridors Project and Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party is an ally of the ruling BJP, is expected to share the stage with Prime Minister Modi at the MMRDA event.
The memorial project has been facing stiff opposition from fishermen and environmentalists, who have alleged that it would affect marine life and ecology of the Arabian Sea. The fishermen community leaders, however, decided not to protest further after meeting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who assured them that their concerns will be addressed.For the MMRDA event, the government has sent out invitation to over 3,000 guests and dignitaries, including members of the royal family and Shivaji historians.
After the main event in Mumbai, PM Modi will leave for Pune, where he will lay the foundation stone of the Pune Metro Rail project at the Agriculture College ground there. NCP leader Sharad Pawar will share the stage with Prime Minister Modi at this event.
The government and BJP are trying to make the memorial event a success with hoardings at important places of all districts and also through campaigns in print, TV and social media.