Rs. 92 lakh lies in District Treasury: Sculptors use personal money to carve D. Devaraj Urs statue
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Rs. 92 lakh lies in District Treasury: Sculptors use personal money to carve D. Devaraj Urs statue

May 20, 2024

Funds cannot be released unless 10% of work is completed: Nirmiti Kendra Project Officer

Mysore/Mysuru: Sculpting work has begun on installing a statue of former Chief Minister and pioneer of backward class development D. Devaraj Urs, in the premises of the new Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Siddarthanagar, Mysuru. The statue is expected to be unveiled on Aug. 20, the occasion of D. Devaraj Urs Jayanti.

This statue project is a collaborative effort between the District Administration and the Kannada and Culture Department, at an estimated cost of Rs. 92 lakh. The statue will stand 12 feet tall, sculpted from black granite by Mysuru’s renowned sculptor Arun Yogiraj and his elder brother Suryaprakash Yogiraj.

However, the sculpting work has begun not with Government funds but from the personal funds of Suryaprakash Yogiraj. Although Rs. 92 lakh has been earmarked for the statue, the sculptors are yet to receive any money from the Government.

Thermocol replica

Suryaprakash Yogiraj told Star of Mysore that the sculpting work on the statue has commenced with a personal expense of around Rs. 6 to Rs. 7 lakh. A thermocol replica of the statue is about 90 percent complete and it has been designed after analysing hundreds of photos of the former CM from various angles.

“A stone has been identified in a quarry in Mullur, Chamarajanagar and the carving work is already underway. It has been three months since the foundation stone was laid, but no funds have yet been received from the Government. Despite this, we have started the work with our own money,” Suryaprakash Yogiraj said.

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The demand for a statue of Devaraj Urs, who was from Mysore, has been longstanding among fans and followers. Initially, the plan was to install the Urs statue at the junction of D. Devaraj Urs Road and JLB Road. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the execution of this plan was delayed.

‘No issue with funds’

Dr. M.D. Sudarshan, Assistant Director of the Kannada and Culture Department, stated that there is no issue with the release of funds. “Our Department has transferred Rs. 92 lakh in a single instalment to the Nirmiti Kendra. Now, the complete responsibility lies with the Nirmiti Kendra,” he said.

However, Mahesh Kumar, the Project Officer of Nirmiti Kendra, has a different version. He said that the complete funding for the statue’s construction is with the district treasury. As per regulations, no funds have been released for any work, including to the sculptors, so far. The sculptors have prepared the thermocol replica and selected the stone. The funds will be released once 10 percent of the statue is carved, he explained.

To be completed by Aug. 20

Zakir Hussain, State President of the D. Devaraj Urs Statue Installation Committee, said that the pedestal work has been completed in Bengaluru.  He mentioned that the names to be inscribed on it will be decided upon the Deputy Commissioner’s instruction. The installation is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 20.

“We are gathering information about each stage of the statue’s construction. The sculptors have prepared a thermocol replica of the statue and selected the stone. They have started the work at their own expense. However, due to the strict regulations of the Nirmiti Kendra, the funds have not been released  to them yet. The funds will be released soon. The statue is expected to be unveiled on August 20, on the occasion of Devaraj Urs’ Jayanti,” he said.

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