Sudha Murty may stop funding temple tank restoration project

Sudha Murty may stop funding temple tank restoration project

With muzrai officials admitting to preparing inaccurate maps, the Infosys Foundation is likely to withdraw support for the restoration of the Vasanthapura temple tank.

“We were not involved in preparing the plan. We are just facilitators and are funding the tank restoration plan,” Foundation chairperson Sudha Murty told DH on Thursday.

Earlier this week, DH had reported how the government was filling up a 350-year-old stepped temple tank (kalyani) in southern Bengaluru to build a road to a private developer’s property. Officials have since said they would build a park there, and not a road.

“We don’t know about the real estate interests associated with the development plan,” Sudha said.

The foundation is funding the restoration generously, and grants add up to at least Rs 2.5 crore, according to official sources. Sudha wouldn’t disclose the amount she is giving away.

She said she had taken up work on the kalyani as the heritage structure had been in shambles. “Government officials referred to me this temple tank,” she said.

Govt: can’t save tank

Meanwhile, apologetic muzrai officials said they had got the map all wrong and had no plans to build an approach road to a private land developer’s property. They said they would use the space for a park instead.

Under scrutiny after DH exposed their plan to cover up the 17th century tank, they said they would ‘correct’ the map, but wouldn’t be able to save the tank.

The BDA will acquire about 25,000 sq ft of temple land to widen the road leading to Kanakapura Road, and the temple is set to lose a portion of the tank. Moreover, the tank is not archaeologically significant, muzrai officials claimed.

Neither the Archaeological Survey of India nor the state archaeology department had listed the tank as protected monuments, a muzrai department note said.

Archaeology officials say that is because heritage shrines where rituals are conducted regularly fall under the muzrai department and not the archaeology department.

“The BDA has decided to acquire a portion of the tank to the north. The government is empowered to acquire such pieces of land. It had earlier shifted a monument while widening Ballari Road on the way to the international airport,” G V Sridhar, muzrai assistant commissioner, told DH.

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