Madikeri: A special meeting of Madikeri City Municipal Committee was called yesterday to discuss the construction of “Madikeri Square” in the vacant place at the heart of Madikeri Town where the private bus stand once stood. While the ruling Congress fully supported the “Madikeri Square” that will provide an open space for tourists to relax and unwind, BJP members opposed the move.
The meeting was called under the chairmanship of City Municipal Council (CMC) President Kaveramma Somanna and the “Madikeri Square” issue was proposed by CMC Commissioner Ramesh who told the meeting that a compound wall would be constructed around the old private bus stand area and the place will be converted into a tourist attraction.
The old private bus stand was constructed in 1936 by the British. The landslides and floods that occurred in August-September last year had resulted in a portion of the old private bus stand collapsing and the entire building was demolished later to avert further accidents.
Retired Engineer Sathyanarayanarao explained the project details through a projector. Listening to the project details, BJP members P.D. Ponnappa, K.S. Ramesh and Unnikrishna, however, opposed the “Madikeri Square” concept and instead asked the CMC to build a commercial complex and make space for a wide parking facility.
Intervening in the discussion, Kaveramma Somanna and CMC member Nandakumar said that Kodagu District Minister S.R. Mahesh, who is also the Tourism Minister and Kodagu Deputy Commissioner P.I. Sreevidya were in favour of constructing a “Public Square” or “Madikeri Square” in the area as the town desperately needed an open space.
They were supported by CMC members Shrimathi Bangera and Tajassum who felt that the commercial complex will make the place more congested and instead, an open space will enhance the beauty of the area. As the meeting failed to come to a consensus on the issue, it was decided to hold another meeting to discuss the matter. Some members expressed their unhappiness over the authorities not being ready with the blueprint of the Public Square.
It may be recalled here that taking note of suggestions made by Star of Mysore Editor-in-Chief K.B. Ganapathy in his column ‘Choomantra,’ published in Mysooru Mithra, a sister concern of Star of Mysore on Nov.1, 2018, Kodagu District Minister S.R. Mahesh held a meeting last November with officials to chalk out a plan to construct a tourist-friendly park and an attractive fountain at the place where old Madikeri Private Bus Stand existed.
In his ‘Choomantra,’ Ganapathy had proposed the construction of a Public Square instead of building a commercial complex at this centrally-located place. He had said that a compound wall could be built around the open space and the area can be utilised for tourists and locals to take a small walk, sit and relax so that they can spend some quality time.
Taking note of the suggestions, S.R. Mahesh proposed similar ideas and said that it was not feasible to construct a commercial complex at the old private bus stand as the population of vehicles had increased which may result in parking issues and frequent traffic snarls.
In his article, K.B. Ganapathy had also mentioned about Trafalgar Square at the centre of London City and had mooted the idea of a Public Square at the old private bus stand space in honour of India’s first and one and the only Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, who is from Kodagu.
Following the Minister’s suggestion, Kodagu DC P.I. Sreevidya had entrusted the responsibility of implementing the project after placing the issue before the Madikeri City Municipal Council.