'Follow SC order, avoid installing statues at public places'

Former MLC and president of SC wing of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee N Manjunath has urged Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) and Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) authorities to follow the Supreme Court order of January 18, 2013, which bans installation of statues in public places.

Manjunath told reporters here on Tuesday that a bench of Justices R M Lodha and S J Mukhopadhaya had directed that, “Henceforth, states shall not grant permission to instal any statue or erect any structure on public roads, pavements and sideways or other public utility places.”

The order states that public road is not anyone’s property. Each citizen has a right to use roads and that the right cannot be interfered with or impeded by constructing a temple, mosque, church or gurudwara or by installing a statue of a public figure. With respect to unauthorised constructions of religious nature that have already taken place, state governments should review them on a case-to-case basis and take appropriate steps expeditiously, Manjunath said.

He said it has come to his notice that MUDA has taken a decision recently to instal statues of a couple of prominent historical personalities. “MUDA should understand that if it goes ahead with its decision, it will amount to violation of the Supreme Court order,” he said.

MUDA had recently announced installation of a statue of queen Kempa Nanjammani, popularly as Vani Vilasa Sannidhana, the wife of then king Chamarajendra Wadiyar X and mother of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV. As regent to her son Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, from 1895 to 1902, she had contributed towards electricity generation from River Cauvery, promotion of the Indian Institute of Science, impetus to women’s education, construction of Mari Kanave Valley Anicut (Vani Vilas Sagara), construction of the new Mysuru Palace, extension of new localities in Mysuru, water supply through pipes and laying of foundation stone of Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru.
When asked about the statues that have been installed in the city after January 2013, Manjunath said, government and the district administration should provide an explanation.

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