Mumbai, Dec 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday performed the 'bhoomipujan' for a grand statue and memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji here during his day-long visit to Maharashtra. In a tweet, Modi said: "I am honoured to be getting the opportunity to perform the Bhoomipujan of Shiv Smarak."
"Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is a torchbearer of courage, bravery and good governance. Shiv Smarak is a fitting tribute to him and his greatness," Modi said. The memorial and statue are expected to come up on a rocky islet one km off the shores of South Mumbai on the Arabian Sea overlooking Marine Drive, with the Malabar Hill on one end and Nariman Point at the other.
The state government has secured 12 major permissions from the Centre including those from the Environment Ministry, Defence Ministry, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and others, he added. Slated to be 309 feet tall, the statue along with a pedestal and foundation would be taller than New York's Statue of Liberty and was expected to be a major tourist attraction.
Besides, laying foundation stone of two metro corridors, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, Phase 3 of Urban Transport Project and road projects, he would also inaugurate a new campus of the National Institute of Securities Markets. Modi also mentioned the Pune Metro Project's Phase-1 that he would inaugurate and said it "will bring lot of benefits to people of Pune".