No decision yet on shifting of Ambedkar statute

The government seems to be in no hurry to grant approval to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for shifting the B R Ambedkar statue in front of the Vidhana Soudha.

The Karnataka High Court on December 12 had set a 15-day deadline for the State government to temporarily shift the statue to facilitate Namma Metro works and, the deadline ended on Thursday.

The BMRCL officials on Thursday said they have not received any official communication from the state government on shifting of the statue.

A senior official from the Public Works Department (PWD), under whose jurisdiction the statue area falls, said discussions were still on at higher level and, they have not received any order so far.

“In fact, the PWD is not a party in the case. We will issue orders to BMRCL only when government asks us to do so. Also, the deadline of 15 days gets counted from the day when the state government received the order. Going by this, the government still has three to four days to issue the order,” he said.

Sources in PWD said a decision has been taken at the higher level not to hurry on the issue.

Dissenting voices

“Another round of discussion will be held with organisations such as Karnataka Dalit Sangarsha Samiti (DSS), who are against the shifting of the statue. Efforts will be made to convince them before issuing the orders,” he said.

On December 12, the Division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna said: “Continued presence of the statue at the location can endanger the statue itself. We direct the Government to remove the statue within 15 days and ensure that no damage is caused to it.”

The bench has said the relocation will be temporary and directed the State government to shift it to a proper site within the vicinity of Vidhana Soudha.

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