Former VC opposes move to let out Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion
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Former VC opposes move to let out Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion

September 5, 2022

Mysore/Mysuru: Strongly opposing the University of Mysore’s (UoM) move to let out the Heritage Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion in Manasagangothri campus, former UoM Vice-Chancellor Prof. J. Shashidhar Prasad urged the University to retain the Mansion as a Museum.

Addressing a press meet at Jaladarshini Guest House here on Sunday, Prof. Prasad said that the University should not let out the Jayalakshmi Mansion either to the Central Government or other offices.

Pointing out that when Kuvempu was the UoM Vice-Chancellor decades ago, he built Manasagangothri campus by purchasing 360 acres of land where the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion existed from the Royal family, Prof. Shashidhar Prasad alleged that the University had failed to properly maintain the Mansion and as a result, the Mansion had turned dilapidated.

Maintaining that the UoM should itself take up repair works, the former VC said that the University has entered into an agreement with the Kannada and Culture Department for letting out the Mansion on a 30-year lease to the Department for the establishment of Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Kannada.

Asserting that once the Mansion is let out on lease, it will be difficult to take back, Prof. Prasad said that the Mansion, which currently houses a Folk Museum, should continue as a Museum. Wondering whether the University has no funds for repair and maintenance of  the Mansion, at a time when it is constructing new hi-tech buildings, he urged the UoM to reconsider its decision to let out the Mansion.

Former UoM Syndicate Member Dr. K. Mahadev said that Infosys Foundation Chairperson Sudha Murty had renovated the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion way back in 2001 at a cost of Rs. 1.7 crore. Also, the UoM had resolved to continue the Folk Museum in the Mansion, with free admission to public. But it is not correct to let out the Mansion on lease for other purposes,  he contended.

Historian Prof. P.V. Nanjaraj Urs said that Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion was an iconic structure of UoM. Expressing disappointment that the Mansion building is not being maintained properly, he said that it was not right on the part of the University to let out the Mansion, which is a pride of UoM.

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Wanting the UoM to get funds from the Government for repair and maintenance of the Mansion, he warned that a movement will be launched if the University does not reconsider its decision.

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