Just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Statue off Mumbai’s coast, the Centre has paved the way for construction of Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar memorial at the defunct Indu Mill in Parel. The union ministry for environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) has amended the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2011, to insert a relaxation that will allow Maharashtra government to change land use for construction of the memorial.
The amendment’s timing is of consequence as it will allow the BJP-led government to begin work on the memorial just weeks before the Election Commission imposes the Model code of conduct for the Mumbai civic polls and municipal body polls in other major cities such as Pune, Nasik, Amravati, Nagpur and Solapur. It also comes more than one year after the PM laid the foundation stone for the memorial last October, thus helping the government to expedite work and attract voters from backward castes.
The relaxation for the memorial has been inserted under the Rules laid down for CRZ-II areas, specifically those in Mumbai. “Construction of memorial in the honour of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in Mumbai on Indu 6-Mills land shall be allowed with change in land use from industrial to construction of memorial in accordance with applicable Town and Country Planning Regulations”, said the new item added in the notification.
The Ambedkar memorial is to be built on 12 acres of land in Indu Mill and the amendment frees up 5.5 acres of CRZ-II affected land that can now be taken over by the Maharashtra government.