Mysore engineers furious over proposed Cauvery tower, Disneyland
Bengaluru, Nov 19: Engineers, intellectuals and civil rights activist are furious over Karnataka government's proposed plan to rebuild the KRS dam with 125 feet Cauvery tower and a museum complex on the top, similar to USA's Disneyland.
The entire project would cost around Rs 1,200 crore and will cover up nearly 300-400 acres of area. The river serves as the lifeline for southern states - Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The proposal came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 182-metre tall Statue of Unity in Gujarat, built at a cost of about Rs 3,000 crore.
Experts are not convinced with the government's line of argument for boosting the tourism sector multifold.
Consultation with engineers?
M Chinnaswamy, Chairman of Institution of Engineers, Mysore chapter, doubted whether engineers were consulted before proposing the Cauvery tower and the theme park near KRS dam.
Chinnaswamy said, " It is not a good idea, but a funny idea. Nobody will dig deep foundation near the dam. That depth may go nearly 70-80 feet. Already there is a small statue, people revere the statue. What is the necessity of having 125 feet statue and making Disneyland by acquiring 400 acres of land which belongs to farmers who already facing many challenges."
"Why such ideas cross their mind without even consulting engineers. These (Government) coming out with such ideas to divert the attention of the people from a serious issue," he said.
Asked about whether engineers were consulted for the plan, he said, "I don't think any engineers were consulted. No engineer will approve this plan first of all." He further suggested that instead, they should focus on improving existing infrastructure around the dam for the convenience of tourism.
He brought to the attention of the government that there are two heritage sites in a dilapidated condition in Mysore city. "Government should immediately renovate rather than planning theme park or Cauvery tower, " he added.
Group of Engineers from the city are about to write a letter to the government to drop the plan.
Engineer Maj. Gen Vombatkere, said " [The plan] Not necessary, and undesirable. What is the necessity to spend a huge amount of money, instead use the money to save Cauvery?"
On asked about damage to the dam due to the proposed plan "We will come to know after the proposed depth of excavation and how will it be done."
Vombatkere expressed dissatisfaction with the government for planning the project without consultation. He said, "Going for a large project like this near dam without any studies, environmental Impact assessment is completely irresponsible. Simple prudence dictates that you have to look at the safety of the structure (dam)."
Economic benefits of the project did not sound prudent for the engineer. He said, " The dam is a heritage place designed and built by Visheshwarayya a master planner and master engineer. These people ruing the project without planning, whatsoever. No public consultation, no environmental and engineering assessment were done."
Both civic rights activist Chandraprakash and historian Narasimhamurthy ridiculed the idea. Chandraprakash outrightly said the plan as a means to mint money in a dishonest way. The activist stated that a civic rights group likely to protest the plan in coming days.
Narasimhamurthy said, "The whole world knows river Cauvery flows here, people revere that fact. The proposed plan sounds bizarre.