The intention of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the government’s action are a mismatch which would only result in dangerous consequences to Mysuru.
While laying the foundation stone for development works at the Chamundi Hills, the chief minister said: “Mysuru known for its heritage value should be developed as the best planned city, retaining its character and beauty.”
Mysureans are grateful about the intentions of the chief minister. However, the action of his government does not live up to the spirit of his intentions.
Let us take the development projects he inaugurated atop the hills. As per the information received under RTI an outlay of Rs 79.94 crore has been earmarked for the construction multi-level paring, queueing bays, guest house, VIP guest house, dormitories, shopping complex, four toilets for men and women, administrative block, Dasoha Bhavan, admistrative block for shopping complex, dormitories, bus station and roads.
However, as per the telephonic message from the Executive Officer, Chamundi Temple Trust, two days prior to the foundation laying ceremony, District In-charge Minister V Srinivas Prasad has conceded to the public outcry against some of these grand construction atop the hills and therefore the foundation laying ceremony was to be confined to multi-level parking, shopping complex and the queueing bays.
But as per the information highlighted in the media, the foundation stone was laid for Rs 79.94 crore worth projects which matches with the information received under the RTI. If the construction of some of the grand buildings has been dropped why has not the total expenditure been reduced?
Moreover, foothills of the Chamundi Hills are occupied by religious institutions and the builders. With the proposed four lane leading to Chamundi Hills and the proposed construction atop the hills, which is anti-environment, it is obvious that government’s action and the chief minister’s intention does not match.
Now, let us take the NH 212 passing through the city on Lalitha Mahal Road. After great struggle on the part of MGP and local residents, the Principal Secretary Nagpal and the NH authorities were fully convinced of the destructive effects of NH 212 passing through the city’s heritage area.
Therefore, they agreed with our demand that the newly-formed ORR behind the hills be declared as the NH 212 and to leave the KR Boulevard untouched. But the PWD minister is hell bent upon converting this stretch into a four lane road. Is this the way the government retains the heritage value of the city?
Mysuru city’s heritage was concentrated in and around the Amba Vilas Palace. If Town Hall, of immense heritage value, can be destroyed to make way for the construction of a multi-level parking lot and building one more dome to make way for another statue within its precincts; razing down of Makkaji Chowk for a privately-owned mall in KR Circle; bringing down of the heritage Hardinge Circle fountain to accommodate yet another statue circle; gaudy work on the so called Raja Marga all round the palace; taking up road widening in the heritage areas such as like Irvin Road etc have erased every known heritage symbol of Mysuru.
The city’s lung spaces have become the victim of lopsided developmental work of our elected leaders such as the City Public Library in the People’s Park, Ambedkar Bhavan on very narrow Sita Vilas Road or the Maharani’s Arts and Science College, Babu Jagjivan Ram Bhavan on Valmiki Road. Why could not these huge and magnificent buildings be built in large spaces in new areas on the ORR of the city?
Drinking water supply has been good in Mysuru. Mysureans were told that they would have 24×7 water supply in the areas rejuvenated by JUSCO. But after the unceremonious exit of JUSCO, these areas too can be found fighting for drinking water.
Our corporators, moreover, are not yielding to the chief minister’s suggestion to hand over the water supply to KUWSSD. The monetary gain in water supply seems to be more important than providing solution to the problems confronting Mysureans.
Vani Vilasa Market has been in ruins for decades and it has been some time since the Lansdowne Building collapsed. Have any tangible steps been taken to restore the buildings?
Above all, the Mysuru-Nanjangud Master Plan -2031 was in limbo for years. MGP has written at length pointing out the lacunae in its provisions which will damage the development of the city.
The MGP had made several constructive suggestions. Several members of MUDA and people’s representatives from the Congress party were against the provisions and had made their reservations loud and clear. Yet, our dear chief minister, has approved this completely defective Master Plan.