Ambedkar memorial by 2020: CM

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday assured the Legislative Council that Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s memorial at Indu Mills Compound in Mumbai will be completed within two years.

The Union government has handed over the entire 1.25 acres needed for the memorial, which was in the possession of National Textile Corporation Ltd, to the state on March 25, 2017, Mr. Fadnavis said. The tendering process was over and construction has started, he added.

The Chief Minister was replying to a calling attention motion on the issue, moved by MLCs Prakash Gajbhiye, Sanjay Dutt, Sharad Ranpise, Bhai Jagtap, the Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde and others.

NCP leader Mr. Gajbhiye had alleged that there was a delay in construction and that the transfer of land was not complete. The building plan has not been sanctioned and several approvals for the project are yet to come, he claimed.

“There is no shortage of funds. The project is not delayed at all. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority has sanctioned Rs. 150 crore and made provisions in its budget to release more funds as per need,” Mr. Fadnavis assured the Council.

The draft plan of the memorial was selected by organising a competition, he said.

Social Justice Minister Chandrakant Badole met all prominent leaders who had agitated against the memorial, including Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, Prakash Ambedkar, Anandraj Ambedkar, Jogendra Kawade, Sulekha Kumbhare and obtained their nod for the plan, Fadnavis said.

“You are making political allegations against me, what if I ask what you did in the last 15 years (when the Congress-NCP combine was in power)?” he asked opposition legislators.

“I revere Dr. Ambedkar as much as you … We should all work together for this project,” the Chief Minister said.

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