Infrastructure Development Department to workout approval process; cost Rs. 1,425 crore; 198-acre land needed
Bengaluru: The proposed transformation of the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam and Brindavan Gardens into a major tourist destination resembling Disneyland is on cards as the State Government is keen to implement the project.
In a written reply to Congress MLC Madhu G. Madegowda, Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar (DKS) informed the Legislative Council yesterday that the proposal to establish the amusement park resembling Disneyland at the KRS Reservoir is currently being considered actively and will become a reality.
The project was originally introduced by former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy in 2018-19 with strong support from the then Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar. Dy.CM Shivakumar himself holds the Water Resources portfolio now and he has affirmed that the project is in progress.
The project was temporarily halted by the previous BJP administration and it was speculated that the project had been shelved. Now, DKS stated that the estimated cost of the Disneyland-like venture, to be executed through Public-Private Partnership (PPP), is Rs. 1,425 crore.
Points raised in query
Madhu Madegowda had asked the Government whether there is a proposal before the Government to construct a statue of Cauvery and develop a park resembling Disneyland at KRS and if the proposal exists, what is the estimated cost of the project and will the project be implemented through PPP or will the Government solely invest in it.
He had also asked about the extent of land, the availability of Government-owned land and the total estimated cost. The question was also about the project permission granted by the Ministry of Forest, Ecology and Environment.
DKS replied that the implementation of the project necessitates the acquisition of 198 acres of Government-owned land. “The project report is currently undergoing the approval process. It has been submitted to the Infrastructure Development Department, whose PPP Project Appraisal Committee has requested a Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment Study and a revised proposal. Appropriate measures are being taken to comply with these requirements,” DKS said.
Opposition from farmers, Ministry of Environment, green activists
When the project was announced by the previous H.D. Kumaraswamy Government, it faced severe opposition from farmers and environmental activists due to concerns related to agricultural land acquisition, loss of fertile land, water resource management, environmental impact and preservation of cultural and historical significance of the Reservoir.
The project was also opposed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), which has declared the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary near Srirangapatna and its surrounding areas as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ).
The project would have a negative impact on the environment, including the loss of biodiversity and the pollution of water bodies.
The MoEF&CC also raised concerns about the project, stating that it would violate the provisions of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006. The MoEF&CC also stated that the project would not be in the public interest.
Environmental activists expressed apprehension about the potential ecological consequences of the project. Constructing a Disneyland-like amusement park may involve clearing natural habitats, leading to habitat loss and disturbing the local ecosystem.
Critics argued that the project’s development could compromise the cultural and historical value of the KRS Dam and Brindavan Gardens. These landmarks hold sentimental value for locals and attract tourists due to their unique heritage and natural beauty.
‘No damage to KRS Dam’
The proposal for an amusement park was also mentioned in the budget during the previous Congress rule. However, it was put on hold due to various reasons. There are no recreational parks in Bengaluru and Mysuru regions and this project should create employment opportunities for the locals and be beneficial to the people. The proposed 198-acre Government land is in the downstream of KRS area and the project will not cause any damage to the Dam. — D.K. Shivakumar, Dy.CM and Water Resources Minister