Mumbai, (The Hindu): Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil on Thursday demanded resignation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over alleged irregularities in the construction of the Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial.
The project has been caught in a controversy even before the actual work could begin as Vinayak Mete, chairman, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial project implementation, monitoring, and co-ordination committee, has written to the CM demanding an inquiry into alleged irregularities. He has even threatened to move a breach of privilege motion in the Legislative Council.
Mr. Vikhe-Patil said, “The estimate of the project was brought down from Rs 3,826 crore to Rs 2,500 crore by cutting down the cost on height and width of the border wall, total area of the statue, height of reclamation, and the statue’s height, width and length. This was done without a scientific and technical study. Mr. Mete’s letter alleges financial irregularities and the government should be ashamed of itself.”
He sought resignation of Mr. Fadnavis over the allegations by Mr. Mete that he was kept in dark about the changes in the project. “This government has hurt the emotions of 11 crore people of the State and the CM must own up the responsibility,” the opposition leader said.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) too questioned the government’s motive behind organising a programme on Wednesday. “Two years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the project. What was the need to organise another event? Neither the CM nor the guardian minister of Mumbai was present. Was it organised because some people wanted to get attention?” NCP leader and former deputy CM Ajit Pawar said.
Meanwhile, Public Works Department Minister Chandrakant Patil termed the mishap in the Arabian Sea as ‘another accident’. “This event was organised by the State government and there will be an inquiry into the boat tragedy,” he said.
The inauguration of the construction work of Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial was postponed after a boat carrying visitors to the venue capsized on Wednesday on hitting a rock near Prongs light house, roughly 2.6 km from Nariman Point. Thirty-five-year-old Siddhesh Pawar died in the accident and his body was removed from the boat on Wednesday evening.
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