With the Mumbai government reportedly mulling the initiation of the construction of world’s tallest statue, the city is divided on whether the construction portends any positive changes for the people working on the shores.

It is being reported that the Indian government might spend around 3,600 crore rupees ($530 million) on the memorial of 17th century Hindu king Chhatrapati Shivaji. The Koli community fears that the construction of the world’s tallest structure may drastically affect their livelihood.

The Shivaji statue, at 190 metres, will be twice the height of America’s Statue of Liberty and will be almost 40 metres taller than the statue of Buddha in China.

The fishing community in Mumbai, which is apprehensive about the rippling effect of this massive construction, have accepted this as an unequivocal fact that the construction will destroy the marine life. Although supporters say that the memorial pays tribute to a great king, it is undeniable that politicians are resorting to playing identity politics.

Opposition parties have decried this move as a gross waste of money and said that the Rs 3,600 crore could be used instead to improve infrastructure.

Environmentalists are also wary of the fact that the footprint this imminent construction will leave behind will be an indelible destruction of the marine life in the metropolitan city.

First Published | 23 February 2017 12:19 PM
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