CHIKKAMAGALURU: The construction of a memorial and museum for one of the icons of Kannada literature -- AR Krishna Shastry -- that has been going for the last 10 years is nearing completion.
The building will house an auditorium, library and museum, which will display everyday items used by the renowned writer.
Though funds had been released, the construction was delayed as there were differences among local literary personalities over the location of the memorial. Many wanted it built in Chikkamgaluru city as it would help in holding literary events, and not at Amble, which is 8 km away. With differences resolved now, the majestic building is coming up behind the Panchayat office at Amble.
In 2009, the then BJP government, headed by BS Yediyurappa, had approved the construction of the building at a cost of Rs 90 lakh and released Rs 50 lakh as the first instalment. The Public Works Department, which had been assigned the work, revised the estimate to Rs 1.31 crore and submitted a fresh proposal to the government. The proposal was not approved and the work did not progress for the next three years.
As the gram panchayat elections approached, the then district in-charge minister Abhayachandra Jain from Congress laid the foundation stone in a hurry, but the government did not approve the revised estimate.
The work picked up speed only after Yediyurappa came back to power in 2018, with efforts from Mudigere MLA MP Kumara Swamy and former district in-charge minister CT Ravi.