Educationist’s bust in Sullia to be demolished

Educationist’s bust in Sullia to be demolished

The illuminated bust of Late Dr Kurunji Venkataramana Gowda at the private bus stand in Sullia.

The District Urban Development Cell (DUDC) is all set to direct the National Highways (NH) to demolish the bust of educationist late Dr Kurunji Venkataramana Gowda at Sullia’s private bus stand.

The NH officials have been given a deadline of 10 days to bring down the bust. Prasanna Kumar, the project director of the DUDC, under protection of Public Property Act, has taken the move as officials and the KVG Group of Institutions have failed to submit proof of official sanction to instal the bust of KVG.

Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, had inaugurated the bust of KVG in December 2018. The bust had been installed at a total cost of Rs 8.5 lakh at the private bus stand. A drinking water facility installed at a total cost of Rs 1.5 lakh was also inaugurated on occasion.

RTI activist D M Shariquee, wondering how the KVG Memorial Committee secured official approval to instal a bust at the congested private bus stand, submitted an RTI application to the Sullia Town Panchayat.

On learning that there had been no official sanction and that the bust had been installed illegally, Shariquee filed a complaint with Prasanna Kumar, DUDC project officer.

Also, at a hearing in the DC office building on January 14, Sullia Town Panchayat executive officer Matthady submitted a copy of the Panchayat’s resolution to instal the bust in November 2018. Prasanna, however, rejected the resolution as not being an official sanction.

Prasanna issued notices and directed the Panchayat, National Highways, PWD Sullia division assistant executive engineer, Mysuru-based Karnataka Road Development Corporation (KRDC) and KVG Group chairman to submit proof of official sanction to instal the bust of KVG before January 24.

Sources at the DUDC told DH that the project director will order the National Highways to demolish the bust on Tuesday as the government departments had failed to submit the approval letters to erect a bust on public property.

Shariquee said that with the bust being installed, bus drivers were struggling to move in the bus stand. He told DH that electricity and water connection too had been provided to the bust, which was an act of disregard for the law.

City-based RTI activist Rajendra Kumar, declaring Shariquee a vigilant citizen, said that a group with vested interests had taken advantage of the lethargy of officials and gone ahead with the installation of the bust sans official sanction.

“Shariquee, by filing an RTI petition and submitting a complaint to the DUDC, has ensured that established procedures have to be followed by all,” said Rajendra Kumar.

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