The Karnataka government on Wednesday put forth a proposal to erect a 125-foot statue, dedicated to the river Cauvery, around the Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir in Mandya district, Mint reported. The water body serves as the lifeline for the three southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The move came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31 unveiled the Statue of Unity in Gujarat. Built at a cost of about Rs 3,000 crore, and standing at a height of 182 metres, Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue is the tallest in the world.
Karnataka Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar and Minister of Tourism Sa Ra Mahesh held meetings with officials from both departments on Tuesday, ANI reported. The statue will be a part of a project covering an area of around 400 acres and costing Rs 1,200 crore. The construction is likely to start within the next couple of months and finish within two years.
The project will also include a museum complex, two glass houses measuring around 360 feet that will give a bird’s eye view of the reservoir, a band stand, an indoor stadium as well as replicas of historical monuments to boost tourism in the state.
Shivakumar said that a new lake will be created next to the reservoir where the structures will come up. The statue will be installed on top of the museum complex and between the glass towers. He added that the state will provide only the land, and will rope in private investors for funding.
Mahesh said the state government will float tenders in the next two months and the project will work on the “build, own, operate, transfer model” of a public-private partnership, the Deccan Herald reported.
The statue of Cauvery has been depicted as a woman holding pot, and water is expected to continuously pour out of it. A smaller statue of Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, a former king of Mysore, has also been planned.
The state’s citizens harbour strong feelings for the river that is a symbol of motherhood, said Mahesh, adding that the government wants to reflect these sentiments through the statue.
While presenting the state budget in July, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had announced the government’s proposal to develop the Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir along the lines of Disneyland in the United States. He had also allocated Rs 5 crore for the project.