Sandalwood Museum may be shifted to zoo campus: Minister

The Sandalwood Museum was inaugurated at Aranya Bhavan in Mysuru on Monday.  

Minister in-charge of Mysuru district S.T. Somashekar on Monday said the newly inaugurated Sandalwood Museum, developed by the Forest Department at Aranya Bhavan in Ashokapuram, may soon be shifted to the precincts of the Mysuru zoo as the earlier plan of relocating it to the Mysuru palace premises has been dropped for now owing to space constraint.

“Though we wished to shift the museum to the palace premises, it cannot happen immediately as there is no space for housing the museum. As an alternative, we have thought of relocating it to the zoo premises. A decision will be taken after a spot inspection of the zoo building by the forest officials,” said Mr. Somashekar, after inaugurating the museum.

He told reporters here that the museum, said to be a unique one in the State, may not attract visitors if it is located at Aranya Bhavan. Since the palace and the zoo attract visitors, the purpose for which it has been set up will be served if it is shifted there, he argued.

The Minister said the Mysuru Palace Board had sought time to build space for the museum but this may take a while. “We came to know the zoo has space and we thought of considering it as we want information on sandalwood to reach the maximum number of people.”

Safety aspects will also be looked into while relocating the museum since it has exhibits of many varieties of sandalwood and artefacts.

The Minister said sandalwood can be cultivated by anybody in their lands and added that the opportunities for its cultivation are aplenty now.

On the thefts of sandalwood trees, he said such instances had decreased with the department ensuring that the accused are prosecuted.

Asked what’s in store for Mysuru in the ensuing State Budget, Mr. Somashekar said the State has started improving in its revenue front only in the last two months with the pandemic hitting its resources. No major development works can be foreseen like before with the finances yet to recover fully. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said during the party legislative meeting that the budget would be downsized by over ₹25,000 crore. Yet, we will submit a list of works that Mysuru needs and seek allocation in the Budget, he told reporters.

Ahead of this, a meeting of all important personalities of Mysuru will be convened to discuss the needs of Mysuru to take it on the development path and the same would be conveyed to the Chief Minister, he added.

Mysuru MP Pratap Simha, MLA S.A. Ramdas, and senior forest officials were present during the inauguration.

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