More than a week after the work for a 114-ft Jesus statue atop a hill located in the outskirts of Bengaluru was stopped, the Karnataka government has found multiple discrepancies with the proposed construction. Congress strongman and local MLA DK Shivakumar had granted Rs 10.80 lakh from his personal funds towards the cost of the land for erecting a statue of Jesus Christ in Kapalabetta in Kanakapura.
A source said that 10 acres of gomala land (pasture land) was illegally sanctioned to the Harobele Kapalibetta Development Trust, which was carrying out works to erect the statue. This amounts to violation of Wildlife Protection Act and BMRDA rules, the source said.
When the issue first came to light, Revenue Minister R Ashoka had told reporters that the local authority, the Ramanagara Zilla Panchayat, had provided an illegal power connection and laid a two-km road leading to the site. In connection with this, the concerned tehsildar was also shunted out.
â€śThis survey number (of the proposed site) falls in the buffer zone of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, hence, no constructions can come up here. In order to construct anything, permissions must be sought from the state and Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and an environmental clearance needs to be obtained, which the project does not have,â€ť the source further said.
The authorities have also reportedly found that the Zilla Panchayat had illegally allowed a borewell to be dug three years ago at a time drought was reported in the region.
Incidentally, the land for the statue erection was granted to a trust during while HD Kumaraswamy was the Chief Minister.
As per DK Shivakumarâ€™s proposal, the monolith statue of Jesus Christ, to be carved out of granite, will be 114 feet tall, of which 14 feet will be the steps alone that will lead to the statue. The statue was supposed to come up at Kapalibetta in Harobele village in Kanakapura. Harobele village was chosen as Christians constitute 99% of the population.