Sir M V's house in city, now PWD office

Heritage

Pride Sir M V’s bust in the premises of PWD office in Nazarbad in Mysore. DH photo

Sir M Visvesvaraya who served as the chief engineer of then Mysore state and lent his engineering expertise towards the construction of Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir, lived in a sprawling bungalow near the government guest house in Nazarbad here. Named ‘Shilpi Nilaya’ the house still remains, but as the office of superintending engineer, Mysore circle, public works department (PWD).

Now, a section of concerned citizens who prefer to remain anonymous want the house to be converted into a memorial, as a fitting tribute to the man considering his contribution to the development of erstwhile Mysore state. The time is also apt, as the 150th birth anniversary of Sir MV as he is popularly known, falls on September 15.

Moreover, barring a bust in front of the same house and another on the premises of The Institution of Engineers, Mysore local centre, JLB road, the city where he spent a few years is devoid of a befitting honour.

According to sources, the house had been allotted for his stay by the Palace authorities then. Following abolition of princely rule when the government took over the palace properties, the very house was one among them. It was later allotted to PWD in 1956.

Visvesvaraya served as chief engineer from 1909 to 1912 before adorning the coveted post of Dewan. He was the dewan of Mysore from 1912 to 1918 before stepping down following differences of opinion over an issue with the then Maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar. The maharaja wanted to constitute a commission for the welfare of backward classes, not acceptable to Visvesvaraya. According to Sir MV ‘merit should be the only criterion for any benefit’.

Now, doesn’t the house deserve merit for a memorial after the man who was also bestowed with Bharat Ratna the highest civilian award of the nation? is the question that has been mooted. However, only time will tell the answer.

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