BENGALURU: Multiple stretches of a main road were damaged, medians broken, electric poles uprooted and a stormwater drain blocked — all this to accommodate the passage of a 750-tonne, 62-foot-tall Hanuman statue through the city. It was brought all the way from Kolar. And all this was done with the permission of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
On Sunday, the massive 300-wheeler truck carrying the statue — claimed to be the tallest Hanuman statue in the world which will be installed by next April before Rama Navami — was stuck before a railway bridge on Hennur Main Road at Geddalahalli, as it was taller than the height barriers. According to Mukund Subramanyam, a resident of Geddalahalli, the road was dug for over two feet, the median was broken, and five electric poles were uprooted to accommodate the statue’s passage. The damage to infrastructure continued on Monday too as the statue made its way to its destination at Kacharakanahalli Main Road, Lingarajapuram.
On a stretch of Kachakanarahalli Main Road too, the median was broken and all traffic was diverted from the stretch during the operation. As indicated by Google Maps, the block caused traffic congestion around the blocked road on Monday evening.The statue had to turn into the service road to reach its final destination, but the path, over a storm water drain, was too narrow. Hence, mud was filled into the drain to widen the path, which entirely blocked the drain.
BBMP has claimed that the Sri Rama Chaithanya Vardhini Trust — which has ordered the massive statue — had taken permission from the authorities concerned to transport the statue.In return, the trust had assured the authorities that if the roads and any “obstructions” in the path of the 300-wheeler truck carrying the statue had to be removed or damaged “by chance” for its passage, it would undertake repairs to restore them.
“When they applied for permission, what we said was if by chance the road gets damaged, then it is their responsibility,” BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad told The New Indian Express.
When pointed out that the damage caused was intentional and not by chance, the BBMP chief stopped short of saying it was a violation.
Assistant engineer of the HBR Layout ward Shankarappa said the trust had taken permission to temporarily fill up mud in the storm water drain, and had agreed to remove it after the statue passed through the road.
Earlier, on April 2, the truck with the statue was stopped on National Highway 48 near Hoskote by the traffic police, who feared that the statue would violate the model election code of conduct. By the time permission was granted, the truck had already caused a traffic jam on the highway.
The statue’s sculpting is not yet complete. About 30 sculptors from Malur taluk of Kolar will be working on the statue when it is installed at the spot off Kacharakanahalli Main Road, Lingarajapuram.
The 750-tonne statue has been sculpted from a single stone which originally weighed about 1,450 tonnes, and was found in Byrapura.