Bengaluru: The State Government has proposed to erect a 80-ft Nadaprabhu Kempegowda statue on the premises of Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), said Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan in Bengaluru yesterday. Including the basement of 21 feet, the total height of the bronze statue will be 101 feet.
Dr. Ashwath Narayan held talks with officials of Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL), after which he said the statue is likely to be erected over the next two years. It will come up between two runways and the structure will complement a theme park coming up at the Airport. The estimated cost of the statue is Rs. 500 crore.
The statue has been planned to be built between two runways for it to be seen by national and international commuters who can learn about the person who built Bengaluru. In Karnataka, the Kempegowda statue is slated to be the highest one and will tower over the Gommateshwara Statue at Shravanabelagola in Hassan which stands at 57 feet.
“The subject was discussed at length with BIAL officials. The statue will come up at a 27-acre theme park which is being developed on the premises. The details on the cost and the work contract would be announced in the coming days, he said. “Specifications on the exact location and the height will also have to be scrutinised further,” he added.
The statue proposal is seen as the ruling BJP’s attempts to woo the dominant Vokkaliga community to which Kempegowda belonged. Earlier in 2013, when the Airport Hotel (Taj) construction began, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had stipulated that its height should not exceed 30.35 metres (90.95 ft). Eventually, the hotel had to be built according to this stipulation, by reducing its original bid for 45 metres (147.63 ft).