A petition asking the Maharashtra and Union governments to drop plans of Shivaji Memorial and instead use the funds to make railways better is making waves online. Within a span of four days, the petition has found support from more than 25,000 people.
"Rs 3,600 crore being allocated to make a memorial in the Arabian Sea is as good as flushing that much money down the drain. So divert all that funds to fixing trains so that we will not lose lives while traveling," screams the petition filed online.
Vipin Vijayan, the man who started the petition has highlighted how the government is possibly wasting money to "ape the west" instead of getting its priorities right. "22 people lost their lives in a stampede at Elphinstone Railway station on September 29, 2017. This was a disaster waiting to happen," the petition says. The petition has been addressed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Railways minister Piyush Goyal and AICC Vice President Rahul Gandhi.
Signatures are pouring in in support of the letter that is now inching towards 35,000. "We Indians should take a stand now.. its high time..!! We should not allow this govt. to take our lives for granted.. refuse paying taxes.. for wat are we paying.. jus to see our near and dear ones dead bodies..??(SIC)" read a comment from one supporter of the petition.
The Shiv Smarak or the Shivaji Memorial is a monument under construction to honor the 17th-century Indian warrior king and founder of the Maratha Empire, Chhatrapati Shivaji. PM Modi had laid the foundation of the statue on 24 December 2016.