Chennai

Sivaji statue removed from Kamarajar Salai

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PWD shifts it to memorial in sudden overnight operation

In a sudden overnight operation, the statue of thespian Sivaji Ganesan on Kamarajar Salai abutting Marina beach was removed.

The Public Works Department shifted the statue to the memorial built on Durgabai Deshmukh Road in Adyar in the early hours of Thursday.

It may be recalled that the Madras High Court had earlier directed the State government to remove the statue from the junction on Kamarajar Salai. With the memorial for the actor ready, PWD authorities had sought permission for shifting the statue.

Officials said “We got permission to remove the statue only between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. as the arterial road is otherwise heavily congested during the day. The road gets busy from 5 a.m. as morning walkers begin to throng the Marina beach. It took about three hours to complete the process.”

The 2.35-metre high bronze statue was removed using diamond rope cutting machine and taken to the memorial at Adyar. “Only the bottom portion of the pedestal need to be dismantled and this process too would be completed by Thursday night. The road work would also be completed,” said the official.

The city police made an elaborate security arrangement and traffic was closed on the stretch after midnight. A senior police official said, “We have provided due security as concerned authorities sought protection. Moreover, there is a court order directing authorities to remove the statue and if it was removed during the day, it would have caused huge traffic jams in the stretch.”

Over 50 employees of various departments were reportedly involved in the operation. After cutting the iron barricade using equipment such as gas-cutter, the 8-foot statue was removed from the pedestal around 4.15 a.m.

Installed in 2006

The statue was installed on Kamarajar Salai in 2006 by the DMK government in honour of the actor. Following an announcement by the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in 2015, the PWD built a memorial spread over 28,300 sq.ft. in Dravidian style of architecture at a cost of ₹2.8 crore.

“Once the foundation for the statue is completed, it will be installed in the memorial in two or three days,” the official said.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 3:29:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/sivaji-statue-removed-from-kamarajar-salai/article19422152.ece

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