Rs. 193-crore Central Government-funded project on 6.5-acre land to showcase art, handicrafts, GI-tagged products
Mysore/Mysuru: In pursuit of showcasing the diverse array of handicrafts, art, sandalwood, rosewood inlay works, Geographical Indication (GI) tagged products and the rich cultural heritage of the Mysuru region, the Central Government is in the process of establishing the ‘Unity Mall.’ This upcoming destination aims to offer visitors an immersive experience of Mysuru’s essence.
Unity Mall, slated to be constructed on a 6.5-acre plot at Karnataka Exhibition Authority Grounds (KEA), also known as Dasara Exhibition Grounds, with an estimated cost of Rs. 193 crore, will not only feature ‘One District One Product’ offerings but will also serve as an extensive showcase for local and Karnataka’s handicrafts. It will provide dedicated exhibition spaces for crafts, sandalwood products and silk emporiums of Karnataka.
Meeting with Pratap Simha
Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha shared an update on social media last evening, stating, “A meeting was held regarding the implementation of the Central Government’s Swadesh Darshan scheme (Rs. 80 crore) and the construction of Unity Mall (Rs. 193 crore) at Karnataka Exhibition Grounds, Mysuru. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Director Vijay Mahantesh, Exhibition CEO Rajesh G. Gowda and other officials were present.”
The Commerce and Industries Department of Karnataka will oversee this fully Centre-funded project. Yesterday, a team of officials from the Commerce and Industries Department, MSME, and iDeck visited the Exhibition Grounds to assess the project’s implementation. Officials stated that, Mysuru was chosen as the location for Unity Mall as there is ample space in the heart of the city and due to its central location within the city and its accessibility from all sides.
The project will be executed under the Public-Private-Partnership model, with the KEA generating revenue from stall rentals. Plans are in place to hold the foundation laying ceremony for the project after Dasara.
A Budget announcement
Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman, during the Union Budget 2023-2024, announced one ‘Unity Mall’ in each State. Mysuru has been selected for this project in Karnataka.
The Unity Mall will feature stores resembling traditional crafts and handicrafts outlets, along with GI Tag products. These outlets will align with the ‘one district, one destination’ promotion, similar to initiatives already underway at some railway stations.
Some stores will offer hands-on experiences, such as crafting cultural and traditional artworks. Additionally, the Mall will provide space for ‘One District One Product’ and GI products from other States.
Objectives and architectural design
A note from the MP’s Office outlined the primary objectives of Unity Mall, which include promoting national integration, supporting ‘Make in India’, advocating the concept of One District, One Product, assisting rural artisans in selling their products, generating employment and enhancing the marketability of high-quality indigenous goods.
The architectural design of the Mall will reflect India’s unity and grandeur, incorporating elements such as grand facades, atriums and landscaping. Each Mall will house at least 36 commercial spaces, one for each State/Union Territory of the nation, to promote and sell at least one or more ‘One District One Product.’
Commercial spaces designated for other States will have uniform floor space, including one stall for each district of the host State. Amenities such as a state-of-the-art food court, ample parking and dedicated areas for recreational and cultural activities will be included.
Additionally, functional spaces like conference rooms and event spaces for galleries and exhibitions will be provided, the note added.
Furthermore, the Unity Mall will integrate technology-based experiences, including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Digital Displays, and Interactive Kiosks. The design will be scalable to accommodate future expansions of commercial spaces.