After dilly-dallying for about two months, the government and Dalit organisations, on Monday, came to an agreement on the temporary shifting of the statue of B.R. Ambedkar from outside the Vidhana Soudha, to enable smooth completion of Namma Metro work.
The statue will be shifted temporarily to a nearby location, which will be suggested by the Dalit organisations.
Following the amicable resolution of the issue, a Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer disposed of the public interest litigation (PIL) petitions that were in favour of and against the shifting of the statue.
The contesting parties arrived at an amicable resolution for shifting the statue after the High Court repeatedly pointed out that it would not be respectable to keep the statue of Ambedkar in a hanging position. The statue was lifted from its pedestal after it sank by about 19 mm recently because of underground excavation work on the metro project.
Directive to BMRCL
The High Court also directed Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) to complete the work in the “vulnerable area” as expeditiously as possible, preferably within two months.
The court also appreciated the parties concerned — the government, the Dalit organisations and BMRCL — for reaching an amicable solution.
The High Court, on December 12, 2012, directed the government to temporarily shift the statue within 15 days. Two other statues, those of Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose, were shifted long ago.
However, a group of Dalit organisations filed a petition contending that there was no need to shift the statue.
The litigation over the issue has come to an end after a series of hearings during which the government and BMRCL came out with contradictory statements on the need for shifting the statue, cost escalation due to its presence, and time required to complete the work below and around it.