Row over Cauvery Statue on Mysuru-Kodagu border
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Row over Cauvery Statue on Mysuru-Kodagu border

February 5, 2021

Bengaluru-based advocate sends legal notice to clear the Statue near Kushalnagar; Kannada activists oppose move

Kushalnagar/Periyapatna: The Statue of Cauvery on the border of Mysuru-Kodagu near Kushalnagar has become a flashpoint with a Bengaluru-based advocate sending a legal notice to Periyapatna Tahsildar to clear the Statue as it obstructs smooth traffic. 

This legal notice has, however, irked Kannada activists who have demanded that the legal notice must not be considered and the Statue must be retained in as-is where-is condition. 

The notice has been issued by High Court advocate Amruthesh to Periyapatna Tahsildar under Mysuru District Administration. The Statue, however, is situated in the land that comes under Kodagu District and a banyan tree near the Statue is considered as the actual border area and belongs to Koppa, under Mysuru District.

Whoever travelling from Mysuru to Kodagu via Bylakuppe and Kushalnagar can see the big Statue of Cauvery that has been established by the side of the road. The Statue was installed at this point to convey a message to tourists that they are entering Kodagu the birthplace of River Cauvery that is a lifeline of people of Mysuru, Bengaluru, Mandya and Tamil Nadu where the river is considered holy. 

The notice has, however, stirred a hornet’s nest as the advocate has claimed that the Statue obstructs traffic on National Highway 275 and it must be cleared. Many rituals including pujas, homas and havanas are held near the Statue frequently and this obstructs traffic. As per the norms of National Highways, the Statue must be cleared, advocate Amruthesh said in his notice. 

The Statue was constructed in 2013 by Baravi Kannada Abhimanigala Sangha at an estimated cost of Rs. 16 lakh. Later, protective walls were built around the Statue. In his notice, Amruthesh further argued that as per Supreme Court guidelines, no religious structures should come up beside National Highways and this Statue on NH 275 violates the Supreme Court orders. 

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Amruthesh basically hails from Somwarpet in Kodagu District and is at present settled in Bengaluru. His notice has ruffled the feathers of Kannada activists who alleged that Amruthesh was doing this to gain cheap publicity. The Karnataka Kaavalu Pade has urged the Mysuru District Administration and Periyapatna Tahsildar not to give importance to the legal notice. They have submitted memorandums in this regard. 

Periyapatna Tahsildar Shwetha confirmed that the legal notice has been sent. “We will have to examine the notice first and then take a call. Also, it is a Statue, not a religious place. We will make this point clear to the advocate,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Baravi Kannada Abhimanigala Sangha President Babindra Prasad said that the Statue was a public property and the Sangha is pained to hear about the legal notice. 

“The land on which the Statue stands comes under Kodagu District and Periyapatna Tahsildar has no jurisdiction over it. Permission to construct the Statue was obtained from the Kodagu and Mysuru Public Works Department and 13 other Departments including Karnataka State Pollution Control Board in 2008 and officials from Mysuru and Kodagu districts have done spot inspection and cleared the Statue. It was constructed and inaugurated in 2013 and there is no illegality in this,” he said. 

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