PIL Against the Statue in the Ocean

To the Chief Justice,
Hon. High Court of Mumbai,

First, we’d like to say that we mean no disrespect to the memory of
Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who was a truly great and able King.

Having said that, we feel that the proposed statue/memorial to be
built in the image of this great and able King, estimated to cost
Rs.350 crores, is an unnecessary expense for the exchequer of the
Government of Maharashtra.

As we all know, there has been a vastly insufficient monsoon, and on
date, if we’re not mistaken, 27 districts in Maharashtra have been, or
will soon be declared drought-hit. Starving Maharashtrian farmers,
committing suicide has already been a matter of grave concern for the
Government of the state. Surely, these funds could be better utilised
saving some of these lives and livelihoods.

We also have, within Mumbai itself, a vast number of infrastructural
difficulties, that need huge investments to be sorted out. The rapidly
declining availability of potable water and usable power is a huge
problem, for example.

The roads in our financial capital are a national disgrace. We could
fix some of them.

We could certainly do with more schools/colleges, providing education
to the underprivileged at no cost. These could all be named in memory
of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Another possible avenue for the use of surplus funds would be to
strengthen and better equip our Police Force and Coast Guard. In light
of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai last year, it is crucial to
strengthen these arms of Government, as our security and our lives
depend on them.

We have all studied the history of this great state. We are all
Mumbaikars and Maharashtrians, and the state would possibly not exist
in it’s current form without the far-reaching and visionary
administrative abilities of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Since the proposed
statue/memorial is in the name of a ruler famous for this
administrative ability, we owe it to his memory to ask if he himself
would approve of such wasteful expediture in a drought year,
especially when the city’s defences are not at full strength?

We’d also like to point out that in light of a track record of
consistent cost over-runs and delays leading to price escalations in
major construction projects undertaken by the Government, it is
unlikely that the amount to be spent towards such a project will
actually be limited to just Rs.350 Crores.

We, as concerned citizens of India and Maharashtra, and as Bombayites,
Mumbaikars, Bambaiwallahs, pray that such a monument be disallowed,
and the funds used for the benefit of the public, by taxing whom these
funds have been generated.

We also pray that, if after addressing
citizens-welfare/development/infrastructure issues, Maharashtra
actually has such surplus funding, it be handed to a committee of
eminent citizens who have by past action proved their concern for and
commitment to the greater good of the citizens of Mumbai. These
members may be selected at the discretion of the Hon. Court or by a
popular poll, as the Hon. Court sees fit.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

Vishal M. Dadlani, and the undersigned.

(Till the time smallchange.in is being fixed , Post your comments below , it will be counted as a petition , and added to the petitions signed at www.smallchange.in )

23 Comments

  1. Harminder Bomrah March 27, 2012 2:36 pm 

    Kindly use money for the betterment of the state and its people and not to show off.

  2. Devik Rathod March 27, 2012 2:36 pm 

    A statue won’t look good if homeless and hungry kids roam around in the city. Over to you Government of Maharashtra.

  3. Shriram March 27, 2012 2:39 pm 

    The statue is the last thing needed in a state struggling with farmer suicides, with rising crime rate and never ending illicit liquor menace… Work on something that Shivaji himself might be proud of.

  4. Mahesh Bhatia March 27, 2012 2:42 pm 

    Please use the money for the betterment of infrastructure in the city or in helping the poor. Shivaji Maharaj will be much more happy. Jai Hind Jai Maharashtra

  5. Nachiket March 27, 2012 2:45 pm 

    To think of the Government actually planning something of such low ROI is a very silly thing. The list of options to spend that huge chunk of amount goes even beyond what is in the petition. Options which make sense, options which’ll make the state & city a far better place to live in. Let us not waste the money on creating a tourism spot while kicking the livelihoods of millions of city-dwellers. Sign the petition for a better Bombay/Mumbai/Maharashtra!

  6. Jay March 27, 2012 2:47 pm 

    For Indians , need better standard of living and healthy meals than this statue .

  7. Ishan Aranjikal March 27, 2012 2:50 pm 

    Please stop use this money for better purposes
    Why are tolls being collected at so many points ?

  8. sreekanth reddy March 27, 2012 2:53 pm 

    Dear Politicians, you were elected to help people and make this place a better one, not build status of kings and gods. Once the country is rich enough then we can build status all along coast, of those great kings, gods and of yours(!!!!) for making country better. Please make India a better place to live in!!

  9. Prachi March 27, 2012 2:58 pm 

    Please make better use of this money. Many options have been mentioned above. Use it well. I am sure any great leader would have done the same.

  10. ekmarathi March 27, 2012 3:01 pm 

    It will be a tourist attraction and bring in threefold income from tourists,alone in a very short time. If we can have statues of the Gandhi’s in every nook and corner of India,with every road,Parks,Museums,Samadhis,Stadiums,Bridges and what not,Why not a statue .

  11. Punit March 27, 2012 3:04 pm 

    There are many more priorities to spend the hard earn money of the tax payers than a statue of respectable Shivaji….

  12. supriya March 27, 2012 3:04 pm 

    It makes no sense to build a statue in the middle of the ocean. The money can be utilized for much better and meaningful purposes.

  13. Yash Mehta March 27, 2012 3:05 pm 

    Despite being a non-Maharashtrian, I would like to comment against such a foolish waste of funds which could otherwise be utilised to develop some much needed infrastructural facilities in and around Mumbai. If Chhatrapati Shivaji were alive today, he would not be pleased to see such a tragic waste of money. Instead of setting up a statue, the government can immortalise the great leader by naming public hospitals, schools and other public welfare-related projects after him. In a city plagued by droughts, it would be strongly unadvisable to invest the surplus funds in anything else other than in ensuring proper water supply in the affected regions.

  14. Charu March 27, 2012 3:13 pm 

    A decorative statue off Marine Drive is in no ways going to help a drought hit state and a city facing all sorts of infrastructural issues.

  15. Nik Bart March 27, 2012 3:14 pm 

    Absolutely ridiculous. They won’t do it.

  16. Ajay jose March 27, 2012 3:18 pm 

    No disrespect to shivaji maharaj he was a great king.. The surplus money shud b used for more sensible matters like food for the hungry or for the ever depleting mumbai infrastructure.

    Hoping good sense prevails.

  17. Shivam Gupta March 27, 2012 3:19 pm 

    Let’s put this money for better use!

  18. kushal March 27, 2012 3:45 pm 

    I would suggest take the money from the politicians salary and build statues ….

  19. Jigat Chandarana March 27, 2012 4:20 pm 

    I am not interested in spending my hard earned money on statues…that too before I have basic facilities from the govt!

  20. shantanu shah March 27, 2012 4:26 pm 

    rather then politicising the statue, do some work and people will re-elect you. As simple as that. Dont u guys understand that the statue will just be a waste of funds, putting atleast 500cr+ on a statue, and saying in the budget that u dont have money and hike excecise and service tax? How fair is that?

  21. Bhargav March 27, 2012 5:59 pm 

    Use the money for a smart cause.. For all you could care, if
    used smartly the money can take care of the drinking water problem around the city.

    Food can be given to the under nourished children or bail out the farmers.

  22. Shruti March 27, 2012 11:22 pm 

    It is absolutely shameful that in a city which is known for his slums, jam-packed local trains, traffic, crowded roads, road accidents, sex trade, child labourers- a Shivaji statue of so many crores is being proposed. We all respect Shivaji Maharaj and have all read and studied how much he worked for his people. If he were alive today, he would be disgraced at people’s hard-earned money being wasted in this way while the city faces other glaring problems. This statue is an absolute insult to his memory. Our nation, our state, our city deserves those crores to be utilised in much better ways.