The Tamil Nadu government has a proposal to construct a monument that may feature a giant pen above sea in the Bay of Bengal off the Marina beach in Chennai,to honour the contributions of late DMK leader and former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to Tamil literature.
According to the proposal, the pen pedestal above the sea would be over 42 metre tall, maybe a few feet taller than the statue of Tamil poet-saint Thiruvalluvar in Kanniyakumari. The monument, with landscaped gardens, would be situated some 360 metres from the shore and visitors from the existing (under construction) memorial of former Chief Minister Karunanidhi would have to use a bridge to reach the monument.
The lattice bridge would be about 650 metres long— 290 metres over the land and some 360 metres over the sea— connecting the monument and the mainland. It would be at an elevation of six metre from the high-tide line, going by the proposal chalked out by the Public Works Department. The plan also includes glass flooring in the seven metre-wide bridge, for the benefit of visitors.
The proposed site for the “Muthamizh Arignar Dr. Kalaignar Pen monument”, falls under CRZ-IA, CRZ-II and CRZ-IVA areas, and the estimated cost of the project is over ₹80 crore. There are similar monuments in other parts of the country, such as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial, currently being constructed by the Maharashtra government in the Arabian Sea, which has received the CRZ clearance.
The State government’s proposal has received green signal from the State-level authorities and is likely to be sent to the Union Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change for further clearance under certain provisions of the CRZ notification, 2011.
Karunanidhi, regarded as a man of letters, has authored many books. He is well-known for his contribution to various aspects of Tamil literature. After his death, a pen was buried along with his mortal remains to symbolise his love for the letters.
Works under way
Following an announcement by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in August last year that the State government would construct a memorial for former Chief Minister Karunanidhi, spread over 2.21 acres of land in Perarignar Anna Memorial and Museum campus at a total cost of ₹39 crore, works are under way.
The mausoleums of former Chief Ministers M.G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa, are also on the Marina. All of them dominated the political scape in Tamil Nadu for over five decades from 1967.
Incidentally, the Thiruvalluvar statue in Kanniyakumari was unveiled by Karunanidhi in January 2000.