Ambedkar memorial to fetch ₹90 cr. annually: MMRDA to HC

Published - March 13, 2019 07:56 am IST - Mumbai

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that Maharashtra is likely to generate ₹90 crore annually from the proposed memorial and statue of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in the metropolis.

A Bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N.M. Jamdar directed the MMRDA to file an affidavit detailing the State’s plan to generate revenue and attract visitors to the project.

MMRDA’s counsel S.B. Talekar told the Bench that the proposed memorial was not a “wasteful” project, as alleged in a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the High Court.

Instead, the memorial will be “a major tourist attraction, and help earn the State a revenue of ₹90 crore each year,” Mr. Talekar said.

He was responding to a PIL filed by city-based activist Bhagvanji Raiyani, challenging the State government’s decision to construct the memorial across a 125-acre mill plot in Dadar area.

The project is likely to cost around ₹700 crore.

Mr. Raiyani sought directions from the court to restrain the State government from constructing the memorial which, it alleged, posed a “wasteful burden” on the State exchequer.

When the State was reeling under debt and farmers were dying every year because of drought, the government should stop spending money on memorials, the petitioner contended.

He sought directions from the court to allot the mill land to build amenities such as hospitals and education centres.

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