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Coronavirus outbreak may delay work on 450 ft BR Ambedkar statue

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale has, however, directed MMRDA officials to stick to the 2022 deadline to finish constructing the statue.

February 25, 2020 / 03:24 PM IST
(Representational image)

(Representational image)

The outbreak of the fatal COVID-19 or coronavirus in China would likely affect the work on constructing BR Ambedkar’s statue in Mumbai.

According to a Mumbai Mirror report, the 450-feet tall statue of the statesman which is being erected by Shapoorji Pallonji at the Indu Mill compound in Dadar, contains parts that are supposed to be sourced from China.

However, due to the partial shutdown on trade between the two nations in the wake of the outbreak of the deadly pathogen, the progress on materializing the project might take a hit.

China, which has a strong experience in building large statues, usually supplies raw materials such as the external plating that is made of bronze and copper. Even a substantial quantity of parts that was needed to build Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue in Gujarat was sourced from China.

This time though, the authorities have been tasked with finding a local alternative for the plating, or else the construction work for the Rs 1,100-core statue might get postponed for months together.

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The report also noted that Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, on February 24, met with the officials of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to assess the progress made on the project.

On the sidelines of it, he said, “I heard some parts to build the statue are to be imported from China, which is in the grip of the Coronavirus at the moment. Authorities are therefore trying to get work done here.”

The report noted that Athawale has directed MMRDA officials to stick to the 2022 deadline to finish constructing the statue.

MMRDA officials have left it to Shapoorji Pallonji to decide where and how to source the raw materials from. The contractors, however, did not see this as problematic since the project is still at an early stage and there is much time for the procurement of parts to take place.
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