Mumbai: ‘Shiv Smarak no political stunt’ says Maharashtra government

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Friday cleared the air over its much touted – Shiv Smarak project – and stated that it is not a political ‘stunt’ of any party. The government said this in its affidavit in response to a petition that has challenged the project in the Bombay High Court.

The affidavit was filed before a bench headed by the Chief Justice that was hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the project.

The affidavit filed by Sachin Chivate, Deputy Secretary, Public Works Department (PWD), also claimed that the Shiv Smarak project will not affect the state in any adverse manner.

The affidavit states that the HC cannot entertain any petition regarding the government’s discretion and right to decide the priority of expenditure. “I deny that the said project of constructing a memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji Memorial is a political stunt of all the operating parties in the state,” the affidavit reads.

Surprisingly, the government has claimed in the affidavit that there is no load shedding in any part of the state. “I say that the contention of the petitioner that there is severe shortage of electricity in the state is incorrect. There is no shortage of power in Maharashtra. Hence no load shedding is carried out in the state. The surplus power of electricity is sold in the power market,” the affidavit reads.

The government has also claimed to have granted compensation to the families of 11,528 farmers, who had committed suicide between 2011 to 2016. The affidavit further highlighted that nearly 38 lakh youngsters have registered with the Employment Exchange under the Skill Development Scheme.

The affidavit trashed the contention that nearly 70 per cent of villagers have no water connection facilities. It claimed to have the best economy in the country, saying majority of schools in the state have basic infrastructure as per the Right to Education Act.

Interestingly, all these ‘claims’ are made by the government to substantiate that the Shiv Smarak project would in no manner hamper the state economy.

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