Indian Shivaji will be taller than Chinese Buddha

Mumbai: Maharashtra government wants to raise the height of the ambitious Shivaji memorial off Mumbai coast from 192 metres to 210 metres, reportedly because it wants to surpass a Buddha statue coming up in China.

Vinayak Mete, Shiv Sangram party leader and chairman of the Shivaji memorial committee formed by the government, said a revised proposal will be sent to the Centre for environmental clearances for increased height.

"We want a tallest structure for Chhatrapati Shivaji maharaj. Once we finalise the bidder, we will send revised proposal to the Centre to get clearances from the environment ministry to increase the height to 210 metres (from the planned 192 metres)," Mete told PTI.

A source in the memorial committee said the decision to seek increase in the height was taken so that the structure could be taller than a 208-metre Buddha statue coming up in China's Henan province.

The budget estimate for the memorial was also raised to Rs 4,000 crore from the earlier Rs 3,700 crore, the source said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the memorial on December 24, 2016.