BENGALURU: The deft hands which worked on the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Statue of Unity in Gujarat, the world’s tallest statue, will also give shape to the the proposed 108-ft statue of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda near the Kempegowda International Airport. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa laid the foundation for the project on Saturday, marking the 511th birth anniversary of Kempegowda, a chieftain of the Vijayanagara dynasty who founded the city hundreds of years ago.
The father-son duo of Ram V Sutar and Anil R Sutar from Uttar Pradesh had, in 2004, worked on the 27-foot bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi in sitting posture which has been installed between Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwathnarayan, who is also the vice-president of the Kempegowda Development Authority, confirmed that the work has been entrusted to the noted sculptors. The State Government has laid down certain specifications based on which the statue will be sculpted in bronze. It will be in standing position with a sword in the hand.
Funds for the project were allocated in the budget, he said. Sources in the government said the statue will be built in Uttar Pradesh and transported to Karnataka in parts and assembled here. The cost of the statue and the central theme park on 23 acres of land next to KIA, which will highlight the life and achievements of Kempegowda, is estimated at Rs 78 crore. Yediyurappa said the work on the statue is expected to be completed in the next one-and-half years.
Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that it is due to Kempegowda’s vision that Bengaluru has hundreds of lakes and places like Chickpet, Akkipet, Balepet and Kumbarpet which are still major commercial hubs. “It’s because of him that Bengaluru became a planned city.
Now, there is a need to give a new dimension to the city. There is a need to improve basic amenities, health, education, waste and traffic management. We are committed to this,’’ he said. Interestingly, leaders from various parties took part in the foundation event. Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and KPCC president-designate D K Shivakumar, both from the dominant Vokkaliga community, along with BJP ministers and Deputy CMs were present.