The Karnataka government plans to seek investments for the construction of a 125-feet statue of Mother Cauvery at the Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir in Mandya district, about 90 km from Bengaluru. Expected to be built at a cost of Rs 1200 crore and across 400 acres, the proposal comes about a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel near Vadodara in Gujarat.
The Cauvery river, which originates in the foothills of the Western Ghats in Karnataka’s Kodagu, is the third largest after the Godavari and Krishna in south India and is the lifeline for Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The river also holds religious significance and is worshipped across several cultures.
The entire project, which is likely to be completed within the next two years, will include the statue, a museum complex, two glass houses measuring around 360 feet that will give a bird’s eye view of the reservoir, a band stand, indoor stadium and replicas of historical monuments.
The final touches to the project were given after Karnataka Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar and Tourism Minister Sa Ra Mahesh held a meeting with officials on Tuesday. Shivakumar said that a new lake would be created next to the reservoir on which the new structures would be constructed, ANI reported.
“The statue will be installed atop the museum complex and between the glass towers. The statue will be taller than the KSR reservoir. Except allocating and providing land for the project, the government isn’t making any investments,” ANI quoted Shivakumar as saying.
“It is not exactly a statue, it will be like a tower. The land already belongs to the govt and we will be inviting investors to invest in it, no govt money will be used. It will be a tourist destination,” he added.
Interestingly, the proposal to build the statue comes at a time when activists have blamed the government of turning a blind eye to illegal sand mining around the Cauvery river, pointing that the river volume has already reduced by 40 per cent over the past 50 years.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has already proposed to build a 151-metre tall statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya on the edge of the Saryu river. Plans are also afoot to build a statue of Shivaji on land reclaimed from the sea near Mumbai. The Maharashtra government has accorded a contract of more than Rs 3,000 crore to L&T for the 210-metre tall statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji.