Nation Current Affairs 15 Apr 2016 Karnataka: Officials ...

Karnataka: Officials delay Ambedkar statue installation

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Apr 15, 2016, 6:59 am IST
Updated Apr 15, 2016, 6:59 am IST
Crushed stones have been dumped on the premises of the city corporation for months, but the granite has not yet arrived from Kolar. (Representational Image)
 Crushed stones have been dumped on the premises of the city corporation for months, but the granite has not yet arrived from Kolar. (Representational Image)

SHIVAMOGGA: At a time when celebrations are on on a grand scale across the country to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar, dalits of this city rue that their dream of installing a 11.5 feet-high bronze statue of the leader could not be realized because of the apathy of elected representatives and the district administration.

This statue was carved two years ago, and arrived in Shivamogga two years ago, but local authorities have failed to complete civil works for its installation along with construction of a granite foundation and fencing the spot. Crushed stones have been dumped on the premises of the city corporation for months, but the granite has not yet arrived from Kolar.

After a series of protests and appeals by dalit organisations since 1997, the city corporation initiated the work for installation of Dr Ambedkar’s statue in 2009-10. Mumbai-based Wagh Sculptors were entrusted with the job of carving the bronze at a cost of Rs 23 lakhs. 

Though the work order was issued to them, the then city municipal council authorities failed to release the funds to these sculptors. This resulted in escalation in cost of the project from Rs 23 lakhs to Rs 27 lakhs.Official sources  stated that absence of a consensus among dalit organisations and corporators over the site for installation of the statue delayed the project further.

Shivamogga Nirmiti Kendra was entrusted with the task of constructing a granite foundation, fencing, laying a  lawn and setting up a special lighting system at a cost of Rs 27.75 lakhs, but work has not been completed to facilitate installation and unveiling of the statue, sources added.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samithi state convener, D S Gurumurthy, said: “Our struggle for the installation of Ambedkar statue began in 1997. It is unfortunate that the 19 year-long struggle has not yet yielded results. Earlier, we wanted the statue to be installed on the premises of the DC's office as we found it an ideal place.

At last, we agreed for its installation on the premises of the city corporation. On April 14, 2015, the corporation passed a resolution stating that the statue would be installed by April 14, 2016. But it has not happened as we expected.”

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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