Minister of State for Kannada and Culture Umashree on Sunday ruled out demolition of writer K. Shivaram Karanth’s house at Balavana in Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district.

After visiting the house of the Jnanpith Award winner, Ms. Umashree said there was no question of bringing it down. The government would act according to the aspiration of Karanth’s daughter Kshama Rau and local artistes who want the structure retained in the original form, she said.

When asked about apprehensions being expressed on likely damage to the house during the rains, Ms. Umashree said officials had taken steps to prevent any damage to the structure.

Proposal

A year ago, a proposal was made to the State government to reconstruct the house, which has been converted into a museum to exhibit awards and other articles belonging to Karanth. It was proposed to bring down the structure, which officials felt was dilapidated. A sum of Rs. 30 lakh was sanctioned for the reconstruction.

At a press conference in Bangalore a few weeks ago, Ms. Rau sought that her father’s house be retained in the way it was. A few artistes and intellectuals, during a meeting on June 1 convened by Puttur Assistant Commissioner H.K. Krishnamurthy, suggested that the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) be involved to maintain the house in the present form.

On Sunday, Ms. Umashree held a discussion with Ms. Rau, INTACH representative Satyamurthy Varnasi and Mr. Krishnamurthy.

Ms. Umashree reportedly assured Ms. Rau and other local residents that the house would be retained in the original form.

Mr. Krishnamurthy said Minister would seek a report from Archaeological Department experts on the way the house could be retained in the present form.

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