Activists slam govt for ‘undermining CVC’s suggestion’ over Ambedkar memorial.
Mumbai: While the state government is all set to float global bids for construction of grand Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the executing agency for the project, has not prepared any financial or technical feasibility report for the project, according to its officials. However, the activists have slammed the state government for undermining crucial suggestion of central vigilance commission (CVC) to prepare feasibility report before formulating any project.
The MMRDA has cited that the memorial is a government project and will be constructed with or without financial feasibility report. Pravin Darade, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, confirmed that no feasibility report would be required. According to MMRDA officials, as the construction of the memorial is for a social cause and the government does not expect any financial returns from the project, there is no need for a financial feasibility report.
In the case of the technical feasibility report, MMRDA has cited that since it’s a brownfield project it won’t require any technical feasibility report. Sampathkumar, chief of town and country planning department, said that Indu Mills is an open land and there is no need for a technical feasibility report for the project. However, under the guidelines of the CVC, there are various suggestions which should be followed while executing any given project. The crucial point mentioned in the chapter of administrative approval and expenditure sanction is — “Whether feasibility study has to be done before formulating the project?”
Sanjay Shirodkar, an RTI activist, said, “If the government says that all the procedure are being followed then why there is a problem with having feasibility report for the memorial. The government did the same when it came to constructing Shivaji Memorial in the Arabian Sea, which also lacks feasibility reports. The government is playing games in the name of emotions.”
Rajkumar Badole, minister for social justice, was unavailable for comment.
The master plan for the 350 feet memorial with an estimated cost of `500 crore has been prepared by architect Shashi Prabhu. The project includes an auditorium, meditation area and a pond. The auditorium will have a seating capacity of around 800 people while the pond will be a replica of Chavdar Tale where Ambedkar hosted a satyagraha. It will also have assembly hall, museum, library and garden.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted bhoomipujan for construction of Shivaji Memorail off Arabian sea, activists had alleged that the project lacks financial and technical feasibility reports. However, the state government had denied such allegations despite the PWD accepting to the same in RTI query.
With Indu Mills being a property of National Textile Corporation (NTC) there was delay over transferring land in the name of state government. It was necessary for executing the project. Also, the memorial required Costal Regulation Zone’s (CRZ) permissions that took considerable time to acquire the nod.