The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that Maharashtra is likely to generate Rs 90 crore annually from the proposed memorial and statue of Dr B R Ambedkar in the metropolis.
MMRDA's counsel S B Talekar told the bench that the proposed memorial was not a "wasteful" project, as alleged in a public interest litigation filed in the high court.
Instead, the memorial will be "a major tourist attraction, and help earn the state a revenue of Rs 90 crore each year," Talekar said.
He was responding to a PIL filed by city-based activist Bhagvanji Raiyani, challenging the state government's decision to construct the memorial across a 125-acre mill plot in Dadar area.
The project is likely to cost around Rs 700 crore.
Raiyani sought directions from the court to restrain the state government from constructing the memorial which, it alleged, posed a "wasteful burden" on the state exchequer.
When the state was reeling under debt and farmers were dying every year because of drought, the government should stop spending money on memorials, the petitioner contended.
He sought directions from the court to allot the mill land to build amenities such as hospitals and education centres.
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