The managing committee of the 128-year-old Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry has decided to take possession of a portion of its land in the heart of the city, leased out to a private hotel 40 years back, for a paltry rent.
C Krishnappa, president of the committee, said that a resolution was passed in a meeting, last month, to take possession of the land on March 31, when the lease of the hotel ends.
“The resolution is forwarded to Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G Sankar, the administrative officer of the committee. A letter has been written to Mysuru City Corporation Commissioner C T Shilpa Nag, not to renew the trade licence of the hotel, as its lease period ends this month. A similar letter has been written to the Excise department, not to renew the bar licence,” he said.
Paltry lease amount
Krishnappa said, “Due to the apathy of the officials and also due to political pressure, precious lands have been leased out to some business establishments for paltry sums. A 10X10 feet land (100 sq feet) of the choultry on the Dewan’s Road side has been leased out to the government-run cooperative, Karnataka Milk Federation, for a Nandini milk outlet, for a monthly rent of Rs 4,440 per month, including GST. However, King’s Kourt, the hotel in question, on the Jhansi Lakshmi Bai Road side, is paying a paltry rent of Rs 3,000 plus GST per month for 120X140 feet of land (16,800 sq feet), almost 170 times bigger, compared to the KMF land.”
He said, “The 30-year lease of Kings Kourt ended in 2009. But it was extended for another 10 years with a revised rent of Rs 3,000 per month. The present lease ends on March 31. We want to take possession of the land and the building, and invite fresh bids for leasing it out.”
Krishnappa said, “In fact, we want to cancel all lease agreements and take all encroached lands into possession to develop the entire premises, of over 10 acres, comprehensively. We would come out with a master plan for the purpose soon.”
In the early 19th century, there was Sachidananda Chatram on the banks of JK (Jeevarayana Katte) Lake, now JK Grounds. Once, it was demolished, the government decided to build a similar building near the railway station for the benefit of passengers, to provide accommodation and basic amenities. The government of Tenth Chamaraja Wadiyar issued the order on June 26, 1883, that the building be built.
Nanjaraja Bahadur, a son from the 10th wife of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, donated Rs 50,000 for the building that was constructed at a cost of Rs 63,547 on a 10 acre plot. The works on the first portion of the choultry was completed in 1890. The government appointed the Nanjaraja Bahadur Chatram Fund Committee, of six prominent citizens, for the construction and management. Later, the choultry came under the erstwhile Mysuru City Council (MCC) and was handed over to the Religious Endowment (Muzarai) department in 1993.
In 1897, when the old Mysuru Palace was gutted in a fire mishap, some of the belongings of the Wadiyars was stored at the choultry, while the members of the royal family resided at Jaganmohan Palace. Besides, when the present building of Sri Brahmatantra Swatantra Parakala Mutt was constructed, in the later 19th century, the seer and the mutt was shifted to a portion of the choultry.
Besides Krishnappa, the members of the committee are: N R Ramprasad, Pushpavalli, Gundu Venkatesh Kumar, K Ramesh, Veena, Chandrasekhar, Varadaraju and Chandrakala. The Deputy Commissioner is the administrative officer, while Muzarai tahsildar is the secretary. Uma is the manager.