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'Sachin Tendulkar' forced to leave Marine Drive after HC order

Sachin Tendulkar's sculpture, which was installed at south Mumbai's Marine Drive area as a tribute to the cricket legend, was removed on Wednesday after the Bombay High Court passed an order on Tuesday.

Sachin TendulkarSachin Tendulkar's sculpture which was installed at the marine drive as a tribute to the former cricketer is being removed by laborers after the High Court's order in Mumbai. Pic/PTI

A panel appointed by the Bombay High Court comprising BMC chief Ajoy Mehta, police commissioner Ahmad Javed and Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) chairman Ramanath Jha decided not to allow the Indian icon's sculpture at the seafacing promenade.

The decision was taken by the panel on November 2.

The panel, which was appointed on November 2, 2015, ruled that since Marine Drive was a heritage precinct there couldn't be any obstruction to pedestrians in the area.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had earlier sent a notice to RPG Art Foundation asking it to remove the art installation.

The civic body sent a notice to the Foundation asking it to remove the art work from the iconic sea-facing boulevard notified as a UNESCO world heritage precinct, after citizen and welfare groups raised objection to its installation.

The CSR arm of RPG Enterprises had installed the sculpture as part of its 'Sundar Bharat' campaign launched on the lines of 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'.

Sachin TendulkarSachin Tendulkar installation. Pic/PTI

The creative work on the 43-year-old batting great was one among the many public art installations the Foundation put up to beautify public spaces across Mumbai.

"We have removed the Sachin sculpture from the Marine Drive promenade as per BMC's request. We have also received a go-ahead to reinstall this sculpture at Carter Road promenade subject to the Maritime Board's approval," said Sumeet Chaterjee, Senior Vice-President (Brands & Communication), RPG Enterprises.

Chaterjee added, "We wish to place on record our appreciation for the BMC to beautify public spaces through art and thank the authorities for giving us alternate sites for the 'Sachin' installation as well as the 'Dabbavala', 'Tetrapod' and 'Rhino' installations."

The Marine Drive area in South Mumbai was notified as a UNESCO world heritage precinct by the state in May 2015. After a few months of notification, the Nariman Point Churchgate Residents Association, in September 2015, wrote a letter to BMC's Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee and raised objection to any installation or construction on the promenade.

In the letter, the Association argued that the promenade is meant for citizens to walk on and designed to get an unobstructed view of the Arabian Sea.

- with inputs from agencies

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