Ambedkar memorial construction deadline extended to April 2023

The revised deadline to complete the grand memorial of Bharat Ratna Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar at Indu Mill is now April, 2023, from the previously planned deadline of February, 2021. According to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is the nodal agency appointed to construct the project by the state government, informed that the work order for the project was given in February, 2018, to Sharpoorji Pallonji and Co. Pvt Ltd for 36 months.

Furthermore, the modified height of the monument has been increased to 450 ft (pedestal 100 ft and statue 350 ft). The project cost has now increased to Rs 1089.95 cr (AA cost) and Rs 990.86 cr (construction cost) from Rs 763.05 cr (AA cost) and Rs 706 cr (construction cost), respectively.

An MMRDA official on the sent query replied that, of the total project work, 37 per cent of the civil work has been completed and 100 per cent work of the basement construction of the ancillary buildings has been completed. Moreover, 94 per cent of the lower basement roof slab and 57 per cent of the upper basement level slab of ancillary buildings is attained. Besides, 100 per cent work of entrance plaza --footings and plinth beam-- has also been accomplished. Till date, Rs 154.33 cr expenditure has been incurred for all the project-related work.

Apart from constructing the grand memorial of Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar at Indu Mill, other structures that will be constructed comprises an auditorium (capacity for 1,000 seats), research center with seminar hall and a library, parikrama path, meditation area, entrance plaza block with information center, ticketing counter, clock room, restrooms for male and female, security counter, souvenir shops, restaurant and control room and two levels basement parking (capacity 467 vehicles).

Reportedly, the foundation stone laying ceremony of the 450 ft statue of Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was postponed after a row was sparked off over not inviting opposition party leaders and the family members of the social reformer. Following this, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's office issued a statement and asked not to politicise the issue.

The event was planned since the Maha Vikas Aghadi government's cabinet minister in January had given its nod to raise the height of the statue to 350 ft from 250 ft, along with a 100 ft pedestal. The total height of the structure, to be made in bronze, will be 450 ft.

Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 had already held the ground breaking ceremony.

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Free Press Journal