Land rows, incensed voices, jumbo change...

A year of contradictions, memories, changes, innovative ideas mark year 2012

The year 2012 is not just a passing phase in the history of Mysore, but the year that would be remembered for long for many reasons. The year saw a major controversy, plans that went awry,  a major change in Naada Habba Dasara and Lansdowne building mishap that claimed four lives.

To begin with the controversy, it was surrounding nearly 2,000 acres of land in the vicinity of Chamundi Hill in three different survey numbers.

A decision by the then deputy commissioner P S Vastrad ordering to issue khata in the name of existing land holders stirred a hornet’s nest (the order was revoked later following the orders of deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa also the revenue minister). The contentious issue here was changing the status of land from B kharab to A kharab to facilitate issuing khata in the name of claimants including royal scion of Mysore Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar.

The issue also proved costly for the deputy commissioner, who was eventually transferred.

 The Palace Board’s plans to celebrate 100 years of the Palace went awry. The royal scion Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar pooh-poohed the year 2012 as centenary year of the imposing structure. According to Wadiyar, the construction was started in the year 1896 and completed in 1943.Eventually, the government had to drop its plans as it didn’t wanted to go ahead without taking the royal family into confidence.
When Mysore City Corporation (MCC) was making final arrangements to celebrate 150 years of the local body (1862- 2012), came a natural disaster, scaling down the joyous moments. A shop collapsed at Lansdowne building claiming four lives including that of two brothers.

MCC had formed various subcommittees  to celebrate the occasion with cultural programmes, sports meet among several others. But had to remain content for the inaugural session with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar gracing the occasion. The gift was Rs five crore as announced by the chief minister to keep the heritage of the city alive.
Lansdowne building still awaits repair, even though the MCC decided to take up the works according to the recommendations of the report tabled by structural experts C R Vishwanath and Syed Shakeeb-Ur-Rehman.

Following drought in the State, Dasara High power Committee decided to celebrate 402nd edition of Nada Habba Dasara on a low scale. As a result, Yuva Dasara was the major among programmes cancelled. Another significant development was elephant Arjuna replacing 12 time howdah carrier Balarama as howdah carrier.
Arjuna also turned out to be a able successor with he ambling on four km long jamboo savari route on October 24 with aplomb. The sortie (joy ride) was re-introduced during Dasara to overwhelming response.

Finally, Niranjan Mutt where Swami Vivekananda stayed during his visit to the city of palaces was renovated and dedicated. A laser show was conducted and religious meet hosted at the Palace to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of the great monk.
Some actions

Joining the league of cities, Mysore also launched the process of tapping energy from unconventional sources. The first and foremost,  a Swedish firm signing agreement with Mysore City Corporation (MCC) to convert waste into energy.

As a follow up of International Conference on Management of Solid Waste (ICONMSW), the civic body decided to take up few works on pilot basis; bio-digester toilets at select places, bring out a compendium and also study the scenario of solid wast management.
To ensure people also have a say in managing parks and circle islands at public places, process to adopt parks and circle islands were also rolled out in the current year. At Palace too, the footfall during Dasara was judiciously used to generate energy.

The concept’ Bicycle to light up Mysore Palace saw many takers, an initiative of theboard along with a private cellular service provider under social corporate responsibility. In all 10 bicycles were stationed at the palace and the energy generated from pedalling  the bicycles was stored in batteries and used later to light up Palace gate.

Similarly, ‘Cycle to office’ concept of the previous deputy commissioner P S Vastrad did help authorities revert to energy friendly transport system. Every  Monday was the day of pedalling to office from top to low.

The deputy commissioner took the lead, and was joined by MUDA, MCC and several other departments in the venture. It was a prelude to much talked about cycle lanes in the city, that is nearing a reality.

Learning at zoo

Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, most popularly known as Mysore Zoo introduced a programme providing opportunity to learn about conservation. The talk in its fourth edition slated for January, already saw conservation experts like Kripakar- Senani, Ranjit Daniels among others sharing their views.

On the development side, Zoo opened a new service gate (opposite to Mysore Race Club) and also built tiger day kraal to enable tigers roam like in the wild.
The menagerie also hogged headlines for losing two of the five green anacondas, cubs of hunting cheetah and also tigress Kaveri due to natural causes.

Kidnap

When the men in khaki were still grappling with the burgeoning chain snatching cases from the onset of the year, a teenaged youth was kidnapped at the fag end robbing their peace.

Sanjay Rathore of Hebbal was allegedly kidnapped on December 12 and the body was found a week later in Varuna canal on the outskirts.

The whole of police force that went to different states from Andhra Pradesh to Maharashtra tracing the mobile calls of the kidnappers, returned empty handed.
 The Chowdhury community to which the youth belonged to shut down their business for a day in protest, and also  took potshots at the police for being inept in dealing with the sensational case. The investigation is still on.


Prior to kidnap, an egg dealer was hacked to death by a gang of dacoits at his house in Lashkar police limits in broad daylight.

A woman in the house who came to the elderly man’s rescue had to taste the wrath of the intruders. At Vijayanagar police limits, a teacher was done to death by her son.
Cases of unnatural deaths are also on rise, especially with people ending lives. Similarly, the missing cases.

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