Will Vishnuvardhan's memorial meet same fate of Raj's?

Will Vishnuvardhan's memorial meet same fate of Raj's?

Will Vishnuvardhan's memorial meet same fate of Raj's?

Fans taking photographs of the place where the last rites of Vishnuvardhan were performed. DH Photo

Now, Chief Minister Yeddyurappa has announced a memorial for Vishnuvardhan on a 2 acre land at Abhiman studios. Will the proposed Vishnuvardhan’s memorial meet the same fate as that of Rajkumar’s?

Kanteerava Studios is a government-owned corporation. The government has 90 percent share in it, while the remaining 10 per cent is owned by individuals. Though a Cabinet decision has been made to buy 2.5 acre land from the studio by paying the market value of Rs 16.25 crore, the land has not yet been bought.

According to official sources, the Finance Department has refused to release the money towards the land. “The Finance Department is against giving such a huge money for a piece of land by and large owned by the government. The Department of Kannada and Culture and the studios are tying to convince the Finance Department in their own way. As a result, the Rajkumar memorial work is going on a snail’s pace,” sources pointed out. Moreover, the Chief Minister also holds the finance portfolio.

Besides, the government set up Rajkumar Memorial Trust headed by the Chief Minister to own and oversee the construction and maintenance of the memorial. The committee has held only one meeting under the Chief Minister so far. Two of Rajkumar’s family members are also its members. Rajkumar’s family members have been pleading the government to expedite the work.

Abhiman Studios, on the other end, is privately-owned. It was set up by late actor Balakrishna (popularly known as Balanna). The government decided to construct the memorial at the studios after assuring Balanna’s family members of paying the market value for the land.

The only good news, however, is that the work on the Rajkumar memorial has begun, at last. The first phase of the project consists of an open air theatre, a garden, a museum besides the existing samadhi. All these are estimated to cost Rs 9 crore.

When contacted, Kannada and Culture Principal Secretary Jayaramraje Urs said the department is planning to propose to the government to follow the same model as Rajkumar memorial trust for Vishnuvardhan’s memorial as well. Though there has been delay the work on Rajkumar memorial is finally on, he added.