Has the government put the project of installing statue of Bhuvaneshwari on the back burner?

Considering the way the project is being handled by various agencies, the answer is yes. There is no sign of installing statue of Bhuvaneshwari, even after nearly two years of government making an announcement in this regard.

The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had announced the decision of the government to install the statue of Bhuvaneshwari in Bangalore during the inauguration of the 77th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelan held at Bangalore in February 2011.

He had said that the statue would be designed on the lines of 151-ft tall Statue of Liberty in New York and Buddha statue at Lumbini Gardens in Hyderabad and promised to earmark Rs. 25 crore for the project.

Within a week of the announcement, Bangalore University had made a suo motu offer to set aside 10 acres of land to install the statue on the Jnanabharathi campus

However, the offer was turned down, as the government proposed to install the statue in Lalbagh and later the proposal was dropped because of public outcry.

Later, it was decided to install the statue on an island in the Hebbal lake and two committees: one headed by the former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and another headed by Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath have been formed to oversee the execution of the project.

Senior IAS officer S.M. Jamdar, who has the experience of executing similar projects, was made the convener of both the panels. However, for reasons best known to the authorities concerned, the project did not take off, said a senior official from the Department of Kannada and Culture.

‘No need for it’

Even Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP) has no clue about the progress of the project. Expressing his personal opinion, KSP president Pundalika Halambi said that there was “no need for installing the statue by making such a huge investment”.

“Considering the way the statues that have already been erected are being maintained, it is better to spend on construction of the Kannada Bhavana and publication of Kannada works instead of installing the statue of Bhuvaneshwari”, he said. Similar was the opinion of a few more litterateurs.

Admitting that the project was languishing at the government level, Secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, B. Basavaraj, told The Hindu that the BBMP had not replied so far despite reminding them several times about the statue issue.

When contacted, Mayor Venkatesh Murthy said that the BBMP was “not aware” of any communication from the Department of Kannada and Culture.