Mumbai: Given the strong objections to the ribbed like ‘Stupa’ structure design and large green spaces, there could be a further delay in commencement of the construction work of grand memorial of Babasaheb Ambedkar at Indu Mill compound here. Maharashtra Minister of Social Justice Rajkumar Badole today said some changes will have to be made to the current design of the memorial. Earlier, Badole held a meeting with Republican Party faction leaders like Peoples Republican Party leader and MLC Jogendra Kawade, RPI-A leader Avinash Mahatekar and others.
“Some prominent RPI faction leaders argued that the main ‘Stupa’ like structure having 24 stone ribs does not look like a ‘Stupa’. Also, some felt the greenery around it (the memorial) gave it an appearance of a park,” Badole said. Some faction leaders wanted the pond in the vicinity (of the memorial) to be designed like the ‘Chaudar Lake’ in Mahad where Ambedkar had launched the agitation for allowing Dalits to have access to water bodies, he added. The Minister said among other suggestions were display of the various agitations which Ambedkar conducted for emancipation of downtrodden and the memorial should serve as a international level centre for studies of humanities. “It should have a large library and a research centre for Buddhist studies,” Badole added.
Referring to the objections raised to the underground car parking lot, he said the proposed underground parking lot does not look that big. According to him, there were other suggestions like the memorial should have a “Statue of Equality” on the lines of ‘Statue of Liberty’ in US. “Most of the leaders have suggested that commercial exploitation of the memorial should not be allowed under any circumstances,” Badole said, adding the government has also heard the views of Ambedkar’s grandson Anandraj and RBI-A leader and MP Ramdas Athawale. The Minister said government will also invite Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash, to know his views about the memorial and it will take another one to two months for them to hear out views of all stakeholders and finalise the design plan. PTI
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