Hyderabad: The state government is all set to reinstall the 12 statues, of that of Telugu icons from Coastal Andhra, on Tank Bund that were vandalised by Telangana activists during the Million March of the Telangana agitation in March 2010. An additional statue of Komaram Bheem of Adilabad district, who fought against the Nizams, would also be installed. The Cultural Department will take up the work from October 1 as part of the beautification programme prior to the CoP-11 bio-diversity meet.
Though the Telangana Joint Action Committee demanded that the government to should keep in mind the sentiments of the people of the Telangana region and install statues of the Telangana leaders, the authorities accommodated only the request for a statue of Komaram Bheem. The Telangana activists wanted statues of Telangana leaders be erected in place of the Andhra leaders, which the government rejected.
“All the 12 bronze statues have already been made, in the last two years, and kept ready at Penumantra mandal in West Godavari district. The 9-ft statues will be shifted to Hyderabad by road within five days,” director of department of culture, Dr RV Prasada Raju told Express.
The statues were vandalised by Telangana activists during the Million March of the agitation in March 2010.
The Department of Culture in November 2010 appointed West Godavari-based sculptor Aruna Prasad Vudayar for the sculpting of the statues of the 12 leaders. He was given an amount of `48 lakh and a deadline of January 2012 for completing the work. The statues were to be installed before March this year. However, the sculptor could not complete the project as he was not given his due money on time. “The project has finally got completed and the statues would be reinstalled from October 1 for one week at their respective places at the Tank Bund,” Raju said.
“The work was completed on February this year. The statues were made in various stages from mould casting which took the shape of bronze statues. So far, I have spent about Rs 25 lakh for the material and on my fellow-sculptors. I will shift them to Hyderabad in a week’s time,” said sculptor Aruna Prasad Vudayar. He said he was given all the instalments according to the contract.
Meanwhile, the Department of Culture is also making arrangements for the installation of Gond tribal leader Komaram Bheem’s nine-foot bronze statue on Tank Bund. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has permitted the the Department of Culture for the installation in the first week of October. “All the 13 statues will be inaugurated by various ministers across the country,” Raju said.
In the wake of outcry by poets, literary figures and civil organisations, the state government had decided to re-install the statues at their designated pedestals.