The Shiv Sainiks on Saturday at around 11.30 am forcibly inaugurated the Shivaji Maharaj Statue that was erected by Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (MIAL) a few months back.
Around 250 Shiv Saikniks reached the Sahar elevated road (next to Western Express Highway) and uncovered the statue. According to sources, the MIAL officials were unaware of the Sainiks move.
Anil Parab who led the group told mid-day that they had done this as MIAL did not inaugurate the statue since six months. “The Airport Authority did not bother to cover the statue from its top due to which the statue gathered dust. We cleaned the statue completely and decorated the statue with garland. It is now unveiled to the Mumbaikars. We do not need to speak to MIAL for doing something that they should have done. We will take care of the statue now.”
MIAL is the authority that is responsible for complete development and maintenance of the land and the museum.
The statue has been sculpted by Pune-based artist Sharad Kapuskar. It was said to be the state’s first museum dedicated to the Maratha warrior king and the six-metre-tall, bronze statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji was said to be a tourist attraction. The open-air museum where the statue is now installed is at a walking distance from the Terminal 2 (T2) of the international airport. (Read more)
Mid-day has also reported about another statue near Sahar road which was allegedly neglected by MIAL. Jayprakash Shirgaonkar (65), the sculptor of the statue on Sahar Road is unhappy with the way Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) has maintained his labour of love, especially when the city airport is named after Shivaji. (Read more)
According to Shirgaonkar, the 12-foot statue is 15 years old, weighs 2.5 tonnes and cost Rs 12 lakh to make. It had earlier been placed inside the old Terminal 2 and was later relocated in 2011 to its current location; Shirgaonkar was the one who undertook its shifting in 2011 as well.