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Government to conduct Shivaji memorial event in grand manner

Maharashtra Government would be conducting the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Shivaji Maharaj memorial here with much fanfare.

Prime Minster Narendra Modi would lay foundation stone of the memorial on an island off the city coast on December 24.

Descendants of two branches of Shivaji’s family, Udayanraje Bhosale of Satara and Sambhaji Raje Chhatrapati of Kolhapur, would be present at the ceremony.

The roads in Nariman Point area would be lined by saffron flags and pandals where artists will be performing traditional dance, officials said.

Government has roped in collectors of all the districts to publicise the event on a large scale. Water from important rivers in the state and soil from the forts built by the warrior king would be brought here for the occasion, in a bid to involve the people in rest of Maharashtra in the event.

“We don’t want the event to become Mumbai-centric. Shivaji Maharaj is respected by the entire state, so it should be a state event. We want people across the state to get connected with memorial,” said PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil.

Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and the memorial committee Chief Vinayak Mete would be among those present at the event.

The PM will travel to the island by a hovercraft. The route will have boats decked up like those in Shivaji’s times, said Nitin Desai, a noted art director and film production designer who has been hired for the event.

Cultural minister Vinod Tawde said, “Several ‘kalash’ (pitchers) carrying soil and water from across the state have arrived. A chariot carrying them will leave (suburban) Chembur tomorrow morning and reach Gateway of India by evening where the Chief Minister will receive them.

The water and soil in these pitchers will be then used in the ceremony on the island.

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