Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Wednesday unveiled the MGR Centenary Arch on Kamaraj Salai, a month after the Madras High Court allowed its unveiling sans any ceremony.
Mr Palaniswami unveiled the structure, built an an estimated cost of Rs 2.52 crore, from the state Secretariat, in the company of his deputy O Panneerselvam and senior cabinet ministers.
The 66 feet wide and 52 feet tall arch was proposed to commemorate the birth centenary of the late chief minister MG Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, also the AIADMK founder.
In January last, the Madras High Court had permitted the Tamil Nadu government to unveil the arch, but without any ceremony.
A division bench had said only the green net covering the arch should be removed, "without any ceremony in any manner."
In November last, the bench had passed an interim order, restraining the state government from inaugurating the arch, off the famous Marina beach, till disposal of public interest litigation petition opposing it.
The petitioner had alleged that the arch was constructed by encroaching on arterial Kamarajar Salai and its pedestrian space meant for public use in total violation of various legislations.
As per the Tamil Nadu Highways Act, no permanent structure can be constructed either on the middle or the pathway of a road. Hence, any construction was unauthorised, the petitioner had said.
The ruling AIADMK celebrated the birth centenary of MGR in 2017 on a grand scale and Palaniswami laid the foundation stone for the arch in August 2018.
A charismatic leader, MGR a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, ruled Tamil Nadu from 1977 till his death in 1987 after breaking away from the DMK and forming the AIADMK in 1972.
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