Special Correspondent

Governor's intervention helps put project on fast track

The project is estimated to cost Rs. 13 lakhThe Government has released Rs. 10 lakh

BANGALORE: Thanks to the intervention of Governor T.N. Chaturvedi, the State Government has taken steps to construct the long-pending memorial for litterateur B.M. Srikantaiah (B.M. Sri) in Tumkur.

The Karnataka High Court, in a judgement on January 3, had directed the Government to commence within a month the construction of the memorial for the renowned Kannada writer. It had also directed that the construction be completed within two years.

Sources in the Raj Bhavan said the Governor brought the order to the notice of Usha Ganesh, Principal Secretary to the Government, Department of Kannada and Culture.

He also sought to know whether the construction plans had been finalised.

Acting on the Governor's letter and the High Court directions, Ms. Ganesh conducted an inquiry and replied to the Governor that of the Rs. 13 lakh approved for the project, the Government had released Rs. 10 lakh to the Deputy Commissioner of Tumkur district to commence the construction of the memorial.

The Deputy Commissioner of Tumkur had said that the district authorities would pool the remaining Rs. 3 lakh for the project, which would be used for staging cultural programmes.

S.K. Sathyanarayana, a resident of Poorna Prajna Layout, had petitioned the High Court stating that he owned a house at Sampige village, which was adjacent to the place where B.M. Sri was born.

The Government had requested him to part with the land (on lease) to enable the authorities to construct the memorial. A lease agreement was entered into between the petitioner and the Government in 1997 to lease the land for 99 years.

He said eight years after he had surrendered his land, the authorities had not commenced the construction of the memorial.

He sought a direction to the Government to either start construction of the memorial or return his property.

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