Times News Network, 17 January 2019
A day after work on the ambitious Shivaji memorial was stopped following a Supreme Court order, the state government said it will file an affidavit to vacate the stay.
Vinayak Mete, the Maratha leader who is also chairman of the memorial’s steering committee, said the SC was not informed properly by government officials, and work had been stayed due to their “carelessness”. Mete also said, after meeting PWD minister Chandrakant Patil, that he would demand that a senior counsel be appointed to represent the governments in the SC. “We will file an affidavit in 8-10 days. I will also tell chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to appoint senior lawyers for the issue,” Mete said. He said it was unfortunate that people from Maharashtra were still opposing such a prestigious project, which was a tribute to the great Maratha warrior, Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Patil said they will approach the court again and added that officials handled the issue well.
Mete said he was told the stay was issued as there was no public consultation for the project. He said all rules have been followed in the project.
City environmentalist Debi Goenka of Conservation Action Trust (CAT) approached the apex court, saying the Maharashtra government had not called for public consultation before going ahead with the project and had refused to address issues related to loss of marine biodiversity and environmental destruction.
A senior PWD official said the government’s line of action would be the same as while dealing with the matter in HC.