Remember how a temple trust had damaged portions of a major road in Bengaluru when it transported a mammoth 62-foot tall, 750-tonne Hanuman statue in the first week of April?
Well, despite its promise, the Temple Trust did not repair the damaged roads following the transportation exercise.
The Rama Chaithanya Vardhini Trust had dug up a portion of the road ahead of the Railway Bridge on Hennur Road to make space for the 300-wheel vehicle ferrying the statue.
The road leading to, underneath and beyond the railway bridge was dug up. The height barriers on either side of the railway underbridge were also dislodged. Some other stretches which were recently laid after years of under construction also saw damage.
Not only was the road damaged permanently, the residents of Hennur and neighbouring parts of north Bengaluru had to suffer traffic snarls for two days as the vehicle made its way to its destination.
The Rama Chaithanya Vardhini trust is backed by politicians including Muni Naga Reddy, the BJP candidate from Sarvagnanagar who is adamant about installing the statue at Survey Number 153. The temple, its two choultries, a goshala, a BDA layout and a slum are among the occupants of the area under Survey No 153 despite being listed as a 'government lake' in revenue records.
BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad had in April confirmed that permission was given for the transportation of the statue on the condition that damages caused by it will be repaired in 1-2 days’ time, a condition agreed to by the Trust. But residents in the area report that the roads are yet to be repaired.
Other than the mammoth size of the statue, the statue is embroiled in another controversy – that of the site of installation. A dispute is being heard by the Karnataka High Court to ascertain if the land claimed by the Trust is actually a lake bed.
Assistant Commissioner of the Revenue Department, Bengaluru North MK Jagadeesh had earlier filed a complaint against 18 people including Muni Naga Reddy at the Kadugondanahalli police station stating that the Rama Chaithanya Vardhini Trust, which commissioned the project, has chosen to install the statue on disputed land.
According to reports, the statue costs Rs 10 crore. Over Rs 3.5 crore of this amount was reportedly kept aside only for transportation and licensing purposes.