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Mysuru: The iconic elephant sculpture fountain, a gift by the Brigade Group to city at Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Circle, popularly known as ‘Highway Circle,’ which was vandalised for the third time on Sept.11 night resulting in the flower structure on top of the sculpture and the elephant head towards the north side breaking and falling down, has once again been restored by the Brigade Group.
The elephant sculpture and the fountain in the Circle was constructed at a cost of Rs.25 lakh by the Brigade Group, which maintained it from 2016 to 2017 and later it was the responsibility of the civic authorities to maintain the Circle. As per the letter from the MCC, Brigade Group was given permission to develop the Circle and maintain it for 11 months, which they did and after that it was the responsibility of the MCC to maintain, protect, preserve it to enhance the beauty of the Heritage City.
According to sources, some persons had climbed atop the sculpture to install decorated lights between 10.30 pm and 11.30 pm on Sept.11, during which the floral structure broke and fell, bringing along the elephant head and also the person who climbed it.
The staff of Grand Mercure, a hotel by the Brigade Group, who noticed the vandalism, informed Mandi Police, who rushed to the spot and inspected. The Mandi Police then told the hotel staff to also inform the N.R. Police as the damaged elephant head sculpture at the northern side falls under N.R. Police limits following which a complaint was lodged at N.R. Police Station.
Meanwhile, MCC Commissioner K.H. Jagadeesha, who inspected the Circle and saw the damaged sculptures, later contacted the Brigade Group and requested them to restore the damaged sculptures.
Heeding to the request of the MCC Commissioner, the Brigade Group entrusted the restoration works to sculptor Sheshadri of Mysuru at a cost of Rs.3.20 lakh and a time limit of 20 days was given.
Though the restoration work was expected to be completed by Oct.5, sculptor Sheshadri has completed the work three days before the deadline. The sculptor has restored the damaged sculptures like the original ones and the elephant sculpture with the fountain is once again enhancing the beauty of the Circle.
MCC Commissioner Jagadeesha and other officials, who inspected the Circle last night, have thanked the Brigade Group.
It may be recalled that the Circle and the elephant sculptures have been subjected to repeated vandalism by political parties and private organisations by sticking posters, damaging the sculptures in the name of fixing decorated LED lights for private functions and heavy vehicles damaging the Circle.
A truck had rammed into the Circle destroying the iron grills. Luckily, the sculpture was not damaged then. The Brigade Group had taken the initiative and got the Circle repaired at its own cost. Now, it has again taken the initiative and has restored the damaged sculptures. But for how many times will the civic authorities keep requesting the donor to repair the gift it has given to the city.
Can’t the authorities take stringent action on persons involved in the vandalism of public properties under Prevention of Disfigurement Act, 1981, which could act as an example to others? Can’t the MCC take steps to protect and preserve public properties from being vandalised? — are some of the questions pondering in the minds of the public. Prevention of Disfigurement Act, 1981, states that such an act is a crime and the offenders could be sentenced to one year imprisonment along with penalty.
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