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Kannada varsity land will not be given to trust

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B.S. Yeddyurappa
B.S. Yeddyurappa

Special Correspondent

Proposed theme park come up on Tourism Department land

Opposition objects to the nature of Vijayanagar Revival Trust

The monument is likely to be ready within a year

BANGALORE: Bowing to the opposition from academics, writers and Opposition parties, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Thursday decided against transferring land from Kannada University in Hampi to the Vijayanagara Revival Trust for developing a theme park and also setting up a research centre on the erstwhile Vijayanagara king Sri Krishnadevaraya.

Earlier, the State Government had decided to hand over about 80 acres of land belonging to the university to the above trust. “I will not allow even an acre of land from the university to be given to the trust,” the Chief Minister told the Legislative Council during the discussion on the State budget.

“I will not take any steps which will hurt the feelings of people,” Mr. Yeddyurappa said and noted that the above theme park and research centre would now come up on a land belonging to the Tourism Department. “If there is any need for additional land, then steps will be taken to acquire the adjacent lands. But we will not take land from the university,” he said.

He said the Tourism department would develop the park as well as the research centre as a tourist spot. Referring to the opposition from various quarters to the transfer of the land, he said: “There was no selfish motive behind the project.” Tourism Minister G. Janardhan Reddy said the proposed monument would have a park developed on the lines of Lalbagh Botanical gardens, a research centre on Sri Krishnadevaraya and a statue of the king.

However, the Opposition members raised objections about the nature of the Vijayanagar Revival Trust. Janata Dal (Secualr) member Y.S.V. Datta said contrary to the claims by the Chief Minister that it is a government trust, only 10 members were holding government positions in the 21-member trust. Of these 10 members, three were MLAs, two were MLCs and five were officials. But the legislators' appointment was not based on their positions and they would continue as members of the trust for a life term even if they were not legislators. He expressed concern that the trust had BJP leader H.N. Ananth Kumar's wife Tejaswini and two businessmen from Hospet as its members. Besides, the bylaw of the trust had made it clear that 50 per cent of members' support was enough to change its constitution.

The decision to transfer university land to the above trust had earned the wrath of writers, university staff and Opposition parties. Governor H.R. Bhardwaj too had sought an explanation from the Vice-Chancellor on such a move while a senior faculty member of the university had quit protesting against the move.

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