More on H.R. Venkatasubba Rao’s service to Mysore State
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More on H.R. Venkatasubba Rao’s service to Mysore State

July 25, 2021

Sir,

In the Sunday weekly column ‘Over a Cup of Evening Tea’ in SOM dated July 11, Dr. Javeed Nayeem had made a reference to my grandfather H.R. Venkatasubba Rao.

As per details given by my father, he was working under Sir M. Visvesvaraya. He was responsible in overseeing the construction of Lalitha Mahal Palace as well as the golden dome over the statue of Chamaraja Wadiyar when he was posted as Executive Engineer in Mysore Special Division until 20.11.1921.

Lalitha Mahal Palace was constructed in 1921 while Chamaraja Wadiyar statue was completed in 1920. The road to Uttanahalli on Chamundi Betta is named after my grandfather (see picture). Afterwards, until 13.8.1928, he was posted to Water Supply Division, Bangalore.

During this time, he was responsible for several water supply scheme. The water supply schemes he was connected with were Thippagoundana Halli, Hesaraghatta, Bethmangala, Ele Mallappa Chettry Tank including Kanva Project and Honnali Bridge.

H.R. Venkatasubba Rao was born on 15.7.1879. He held a degree of BA LCE, which suggests that he must have studied in Poona Engineering College which was the only Institute issuing LCE degree and later on BE degree. Incidentally, Sir M. Visvesvaraya also passed from the same College.

Venkatasubba Rao joined Public Works Department, Mysore State, on 25.11.1912 and died in harness in 1932. DVG in his book ‘Kelavu Mahaneeyaru’ mentions his name.

As Executive Engineer, he drew a salary of Rs. 500 plus EWA Rs. 60 which was a princely sum during those days. He had donated to the Sports Division of the National College and Victoria Hospital, both in Bangalore.

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My mother was the only daughter. She was married to my father in 1923. At that time, my grandfather was living in a huge house in Lakshmipuram. The house is still in very good condition and presently houses Sericulture Office.

Dr. Jayeed Nayeem, in his article, refers to Chamaraja Wadiyar as a person of great vision. Sadly, he died on 28.12.1894 at the age of 31. His erudition and vision is testified by the following address to students.

“Remember that you belong to a nation intensely religious, whose life from early morn to nights is filled with a firm belief in the Divine presence. Remember that you are the inheritors of the codes of purest morality and the system of highest philosophy and that these invaluable treasures are all locked up in the archives of the ancient library to yield to the earnest student.” [Source: Thoughts Invaluable – Prof. B. Sheik Ali].

– H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana, Saraswathipuram, 18.7.2021

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