Grove, resort to elbow out Kuvempu's house

Grove, resort to elbow out Kuvempu's house

Right in front of the house where the poet-philosopher conceived the thought of universal humanism (Vishwa Manavata vaada), a rubber plantation is coming on a one-acre land, marring the pristine charm of the house.

The plantation is coming in gross violation of the government order declaring Kuppalli and 3,600 acres of forest as Kuvempu Jaivika Aranyadhama (Kuvempu Biological Park).
Worse, at the turn you take to reach the beautiful tiled house where the poet-savant lived, a resort is coming up.

To add insult to injury, the Grama Panchayat is levying parking fee to vehicles of visitors who make the pilgrimage to what was once the abode of the creator of modern epic, Sri Ramayana Darshanam.

Writers, environmentalists and admirers of Kuvempu are fuming. They term such developments as an insult to the author of the play, Shoodra Tapaswi.
That such developments are taking place without consulting the Rashtra Kavi Kuvempu Pratishtana set up by the government to develop Kuppalli as a cultural centre to perpetuate the memory of Kuvempu have caused deep unease among Kuvempu acolytes.

They argue that the rubber planation would mar the beauty of the house and will eclipse it once the rubber trees grow. Besides, they point out that Kuvempu, a celebrant of nature would not have liked such ersatz greenery.

Another development that makes them see red is the charging of parking fee for vehicles of visitors to Kuvempu’s house, by the Devangi Grama Panchayat. Buses are charged Rs 25, cars Rs 10 and two-wheelers Rs five. Each day sees 400 to 500 visitors who make the pilgrimage.

There, of course, is no proper parking lot for the vehicles with the owners struggling to park their vehicles in the narrow strip of land outside the house.

The parking mess has led to many protests by visitors.The Rashtra Kavi Kuvempu Pratishtana has written to the GP strongly criticising the move to levy parking fee.
The grandson of a cousin of Kuvempu, Subodh, who is also the president of the Grama Panchayat, who is a developer behind the plantation and the resort, however argues that the objections are not valid as his family has a share in Kuvempu’s house and hence he was entitled to his actions. He says he was not building a resort, but only his house.
“In 1995, the government sanctioned Rs 2.5 lakh and two acres of land to me to build a house, but had not made over the land. After I staged a dharna, then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy sanctioned 30 guntas of land by National Highway 13, where I am building my house,” Subodh told Deccan Herald. He complained that the local ‘home stay’ owners were conspiring against him.

As for the rubber plantation, Subodh does not deny he was developing one. “It is my land. So far, I cultivated paddy and lost money. Why should not I plant rubber. What is wrong in that?”  The joint secretary of the Pratishtana, Kadidal Prakash said “there were reports” that Subodh had been sanctioned land by the government, but there was no information of how much and where. “Besides, he already has a house,” he points out.

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