BENGALURU: Wednesday marked a historic moment in the city. Eight years behind schedule, the ‘Veeragallu’ to be installed at the National Military Memorial (NMM) on Sankey Road, finally began its journey from Koira quarry in Devanahalli. The 75 ft long stone, weighing 450 tonnes, will reach on Sunday or Monday.
It was originally meant to be ready for installation in January 2011. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), entrusted with the Veeragallu project, has obtained the permission from the National Highways Authority of India, Traffic police and the Railways to transport it along the city’s streets.
BDA Engineer Officer Vinayak G Sugur, who is supervising the project, told The New Indian Express, “The transportation cost along with lifting and erecting the monolith comes to `5.46 crore. The cost of carving the piece costs `1 crore. Granite has been taken from government quarries only.”
The Veeragallu began its journey at 3.30 pm on Wednesday on a trailer supplied by a Mumbai-based private. “A distance of 800 metres was completed within 8 minutes from the quarry to Vishwanathapura. The statue will be transported only during the day. The Veeragallu continues its journey to Devanahalli junction on Thursday and then head to Bengaluru,” another official said.
The preparatory work to shift the monolith, carved by Bidar-based sculptor Ashok Gudigar, began on Saturday. Elaborating on the work involved, another official said, “Three jacks had to be welded at specific points along the statue and connected with its head to lift it and place it on the trailer. After the monolith was placed, it was packed to prevent any damage.”Sugur said, “After it reaches NMM, the contractor will take another 20 days to install it inside the memorial.”