A fortnight after criticising the world’s largest ‘Statue of Unity’ (182 metres) of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — which was built by the BJP government in Gujarat and inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — the Congress-JD(S) government in the State announced a proposal to build a 38.1-metre (125 ft) tower of ‘Mother Cauvery’ at the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir in Mandya.
“It’s not a statue, it’s more like a tower. Water will be flowing from the Cauvery, and there will be a viewing gallery for tourists,” reiterated Congress leader and Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar.
“It’s not in anyway connected to the ‘Statue of Unity’. It is a proposal of the budget (2018-19) and we are taking it forward. It will be implemented in a transparent manner. Just like the Eiffel Tower, it will have an elevator so that visitors can get a good view of the landscape,” he told presspersons on Thursday.
The estimated cost of the project is ₹1,200 crore and it will come up under the PPP model. The project comprises of a museum complex, two glass towers providing a bird’s eye view of the KRS reservoir, a bandstand, and replicas of historical monuments for promoting tourism in the Mysuru region. Mr. Shivakumar said global tenders would be floated and a proposal would be placed before the Cabinet for a final decision.
“The government will not spend money on the project. The land is ours and we will ask investors to fund the project. We want to develop tourism, generate revenue, and employment,” he said.
He said further details would be revealed only after finalisation of all plans of the project. Architects have already developed the concept. Tourist destinations such as Hampi, Gol Gumbaz, Somnathpur, and Badami will be showcased there. An amusement park is another features of the project, he said.
Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, in the State budget for 2018-19, had announced the government’s proposal to develop KRS on the lines of Disneyland in the U.S.
When asked about his party’s criticism of the ‘Statue of Unity’, the Minister said, “We are not erecting a statue. We will do it in a balanced way.”