Thursday, January 19, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Govt puts off decision on Ambedkar statue

Govt puts off decision on Ambedkar statue
Bangalore, Jan 19, 2012, DHNS:

The State Cabinet on Thursday failed to take any decision on the
controversial issue of shifting the Dr Ambedkar statue from near the
east gate Vidhana Soudha temporarily to pave the way for Metro rail

It has, however, authorised Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda to take
an appropriate decision after consulting all sections. Briefing
reporters about the Cabinet decision, Minister V S Acharya said the
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has sought permission
to shift the statue to complete underground work of Metro rail. "There
is no option but to shift the statue if work has to go ahead. The
Cabinet has authorised the chief minister to take an appropriate
decision in this regard after consulting a core-committee comprising
the Social Welfare Minister A Narayanaswamy," he added.

Work on Namma Metro has almost come to a standstill for the last six
months due to the controversy surrounding shifting of the statue.
While the BMRCL had informed the government that it has no option but
to shift the statue to take up the underground work, some Dalit
organisations have been vehemently opposing it. Delay in
implementation had escalated the project cost by an estimated Rs 100
crore, sources said.

The BMRCL has to blast rocks that are about 800 meters deep inside the
earth as part of the underground work. It is feared that the statue
would develop cracks if it is not shifted. The BMRCL had also
constructed a pedestal near the west gate of Vidhana Soudha to shift
the statue there about six months ago. But the government did not give
permission to shift the statue in view of protests, sources added.

Statues of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose have
already been removed from the Vidhana Soudha premises for the purpose.
The shifting of these statues, however, would be temporary and they
would be re-installed after the construction work is complete,
official sources said.

Sources said the government had recently sought the technical opinion
of experts at IIT, Madras, on the need for shifting the statue.

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