Revival of Mysuru Bal Bhavan Society comes up with Rs. 11 crore action plan
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Revival of Mysuru Bal Bhavan Society comes up with Rs. 11 crore action plan

October 28, 2020

By Rajkumar Bhavasar

Mysore/Mysuru: The Jawahar Bal Bhavan at Bannimantap in city, which is lying idle for the past several years, is expected to get a fresh look, with the Bal Bhavan Society preparing a Rs. 11 crore action plan for its facelift.

The Bal Bhavan land was leased out to the Society by the then CITB (City Improvement Trust Board) — now Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) — in 1979 for 30 years. Following the expiry of the lease over 10 years ago, the Bal Bhavan authorities tried to get the lease renewed, but in vain, as MUDA reportedly showed no interest. But thanks to the efforts of the new Bal Bhavan Society Chairperson Chikkamma Basavaraj, the city’s Bal Bhavan is all set for a facelift.

Following an appeal by Chikkamma, MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajeev had inspected Bal Bhavan a couple of months ago. 

The Bal Bhavan is located on a 10-acre land in Bannimantap leased out by MUDA decades ago. As he went around the Bal Bhavan premises, Rajeev asked the authorities to come up with an action plan for its revival, so that MUDA can freshly discuss the issue of renewing the lease based on the plan. Subsequent to MUDA Chairman’s suggestion, Bal Bhavan prepared a Rs. 11 crore action plan.

According to the plan, Rs. 1.20 crore will be spent on toy train, track relaying and other such works, Rs. 2.8 crore for construction of a new building with dormitory facility, after demolishing the existing one which is dilapidated, Rs. 1.8 crore for construction of an indoor auditorium, Rs. 90 lakh for boating facility, construction of a function hall at a cost of Rs. 70 lakh, construction of toilets at a cost of Rs. 13.5 lakh, seating arrangement costing Rs. 14 lakh, landscaping – Rs. 10.50 lakh, heightening of compound wall – Rs. 80 lakh, creating an artificial forest – Rs. 66 lakh, bike rally area – Rs. 22 lakh, children’s amusement park – Rs. 38 lakh and such other facilities.

The Bal Bhavan was a beehive of activity for children, who used to frequent the venue for spending their play time with fellow children. With its amusement park, playground, skating rink, library, a mini hall, toy train etc., Bal Bhavan was providing a variety of entertainment for little ones on all days. 

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But after the lease expired over 10 years ago, Bal Bhavan has gone into shambles, with the toy train coming to a grinding halt and so also all other facilities and activities. Lying idle for years and with no regular maintenance, the Bal Bhavan premises has turned into a habitat for reptiles and other animals, with weeds, shrubs and plants growing uncontrolled.

Apart from other popular tourism spots such as Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hill, Zoo, Karanji Lake, Kukkarahalli Lake, St. Philomena’s Church, Jaganmohan Palace etc., Bal Bhavan was an additional tourist attraction of the city. Now, after years of neglect and official apathy, the Bal Bhavan Society Chairperson is showing keen interest in reviving it. 

The Rs. 11 crore action plan envisages relaying of the toy train track using concrete sleepers and repair of the train engine, amusement facilities at play area, a  vehicle riding facility for children in the age group of 9 to 16 years, an adventure park for children in the age group of 5 to 16 years and differential lighting of vast area of the 10 acre premises. The other features include landscaping, laying of pathways, park, lawn, decorative and ornamental plants, boating facility with the construction of an artificial pond, stages for performance of children and seating arrangements, among others.

Chikkamma Basavaraj submitted the action plan to MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajeev recently and the stage seems to be set for the revival of Bal Bhavan after a gap of 10 years. 

After submission of the action plan, Chikkamma said that she has started the process for revival and hoped that MUDA will freshly lease out the land for Bal Bhavan at the earliest.

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