Art complex at Shilpa Gram remains a dream

Despite the Karnataka State Handicrafts and Development Corporation (KHDC) and the Department of Industries and Commerce sanctioning Rs 1 crore in 2007 towards the project, the work has been delayed.

In 2010, the Karnataka State Development Corporation (KSDC) had created an action plan of Rs 74 lakh towards the project. Of the total amount Rs 59 lakh has been allocated for the construction of the complex.

As per the project, the complex will create a forum wherein sculptures and handicrafts will be stored, exhibited and sold. Also, the complex will house an auditorium, a library, guest houses for foreign visitors, an information centre and washrooms.

The  complex was expected to have been completed by August 2010 and be handed over to the use of artistes.

However, the work on the project was halted for three months, owing to a complaint lodged by a Grama Panchayat member Jagadeesh to the Lokayukta.

He had alleged sub-standard and poor quality work at the complex, complained Ambareesh, a contractor.

The work was restarted after a recent visit by General Secretary to the Department of Industries and Commerce V P Baligar and KHDC officers.

“As the complex at Shilpa Gram at Shivarapattana has drawn national attention, there should be no compromise in the quality of work,” said V P Baligar, during his recent visit to  Shivarapattana.

The work that was restarted   then is progressing at a snail’s pace now, said artiste Mohan.

Of the problems faced by artistes at Shivarapattana are  shortage of stones.

“Earlier, we procured black stone from Someshwara Hills in Vemagal. However, now one has to either go to Heggadadevana Kote in Mysore or Gudibande. Moreover, the restrictions imposed by the Department of Mines and Geology and the police is another problem. For every load we have to pay Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000. Lack of a quarry is one of the major hurdles,” explained Chandra Shekar, an artiste.

The ‘Shilpa Gram’ which was  to be thrown open for the artistes at Shivarapattana continues to be a dream yet to be realised.

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