BANGALORE: Members of the ‘Save Balabrooie Committee,’ an entity formed to oppose the imminent demolition of the over 150-year-old Balabrooie Guest House, have said that they will shortly submit a memorandum to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Noted artist S G Vasudev told reporters here on Saturday that demolishing the building will be in contravention of the fundamental duty to protect and preserve the heritage of India.
Further, the committee members said that the Balabrooie Guest House can be given another purpose like the Manickavelu Mansion, another heritage building, which currently houses the National Gallery of Modern Art.
“The decongestion of Bangalore’s Central Business District has been a long-standing concern of the citizens. The construction of another multi-storeyed building in place of the guest house will make the situation worse,” said architect Naresh Narasimhan.
The committee members have planned to stage a peaceful demonstration outside the Balabrooie Guest House on Sunday.
“The government wants to build family quarters for legislators at a cost of `35 crore. Can’t they find another location to construct the facility? The Balabrooie Guest House complex encompasses around 10 acres. They can leave the Guest House intact and use the remaining space,” said another member.
He added that a letter sent to the Chief Minister has not elicited a response.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Suresh Kumar asked the government to retain all heritage structures.
Stating that there was no such proposal to demolish the building in the past, Kumar said a legislators’ club could be set up in the premises without damaging the existing structure.
I have No Idea, Says Jayachandra
On the proposal to raze the Balabrooie guest house to make way for a Legislators Club, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra said, “It was an old proposal for which I had paid an initial membership fee of `10,000 ten years ago. I have no idea whether the building would be demolished to construct the new structure.” He also denied that the State Guest house, earmarked to host the Legislators club had been declared as a ‘Heritage structure in the city’.