Karnataka

IGRMS plea for land remains ignored

Space constraints: Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya is currently housed in a 200-year-old heritage structure – Wellington Lodge – in Mysuru.

Space constraints: Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya is currently housed in a 200-year-old heritage structure – Wellington Lodge – in Mysuru.  

On International Museum Day, The Hindu sheds light on official apathy towards the centre’s plans for expansion

The expansion plans of the city-based Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS) – the southern regional centre of the National Museum of Mankind headquartered in Bhopal – have been shelved as its plea for land has been ignored by the authorities.

A proposal submitted almost five years ago and followed up till recently yielded a blank, forcing the IGRMS authorities to call it quits. The IGRMS requires atleast five acres of land for expansion, for its open-air exhibits, but the authorities have failed to meet the demand so far.

Located on the congested Irwin Road, IGRMS is housed in a 200-year-old heritage structure – Wellington Lodge – where Col. Arthur Wellesley stayed here after the 4th Anglo-Mysore war which resulted in the death of Tipu Sultan. Though the colonial building established around 1799 is perfect to house a museum, the space crunch is an inhibiting factor.

Established 17 years ago, it aims to tell the story of civilisation through the exhibition of artefacts, performance of tribal and folk arts, and to preserve the diversity of Indian culture. However, the land crunch has forced the IGRMS authorities to restrict themselves to indoor exhibits while the outdoor exhibits have not been expanded over years.

“We approached the higher authorities, including the district administration, but were shown land way out of the city limits. The location would deter visitors, defeating the purpose of having an exhibition,” said Vijaymohan, officer in charge, IGRMS.

‘Efforts unappreciated’

He said it was meant to be a government-to-government transaction with a nominal amount to be levied as fee for allocation of land but the local authorities did not take their plea seriously. “We submitted a detailed project report on the kind of exhibits we intend to display, an amphitheatre for performances, additional galleries, besides our long-term objective of citizens involvement in museum activities, but it went unappreciated,” said Mr. Vijaymohan.

At present, the IGRMS is housed in the ground floor of the Wellington Lodge and shares a portion of it with another museum by the State Department of Archaeology and Museums that only accentuates the space crunch.

Though it was mooted to shift the IGRMS to the Exhibition Grounds, the authorities insisted on levying a monthly rent of ₹2.5 lakh besides additional charges for maintenance. “For a museum operating on government grant with a social motive, such sums are ridiculously high and were not even pursued seriously,” according to the IGRMS official.

Though International Museum Day will be observed in the city with customary fanfare today, there is little to demonstrate the zeal in meeting some of its avowed objectives if the apathy to the IGRMS expansion is any indication.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 7:24:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/igrms-plea-for-land-remains-ignored/article18475987.ece

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