Maharashtra government to move SC to vacate stay on Shivaji memorial work

A day after the construction work on the Shivaji Memorial was stopped following a Supreme Court order, the Maharashtra government is going to file a counter affidavit seeking vacation of the stay.

Shiv Sangram party leader and chairman of the memorial’s steering committee Vinayak Mete said there was “carelessness” on part of the public works department (PWD) officials, who failed to give information to support the case.

The state on Tuesday directed project proponents of the Memorial to stop construction with immediate effect. A letter issued by the PWD to the project director of the private company, constructing the 212m statue off the Mumbai coast, cited a recent SC order and verbal directions to stop construction till the matter is heard. “There was some carelessness from PWD. They did not give adequate information to the lawyer representing our case. The same petition was quashed by the HC earlier. We will meet the CM and demand a top lawyer be roped in,” Mete said after a meeting of the steering committee on Wednesday.

A senior PWD official said that a counter affidavit will be filed in 10 days in the apex court, citing HC’s order where the same plea was quashed. “Our contention will be the same as we did while the matter was heard in the HC. All procedures were followed before awarding the project,” the official. “We were told the stay was given because public consultation was not done. But certain projects of such importance have these exemptions.”

The PWD official said they are positive the SC would quash the petition filed by an environmental group.

Revenue minister and member of the steering committee, Chandrakant Patil, however, said the officials have handled the issue well and that there has not been any carelessness.

First Published: Jan 17, 2019 14:27 IST

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