The Karnataka government, on December 13, 2018, said not even a penny would be spent on the proposed upgradation of the Brindavan Gardens adjoining the Krishnarajasagara Dam (KRS), or the installation of a mammoth statue of ‘Mother Cauvery’. Minister for water resources DK Shivakumar said this in the state assembly, while replying to opposition BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa, who asked him to list his priorities, while pointing at the pending irrigation projects in the state, especially in north Karnataka. To this, Shivakumar said the completion of key irrigation projects, including the Upper Krishna Project, was the priority of the government.
Earlier, during the question hour, Yeddyurappa said the government was planning to develop the KRS as a tourism spot, by spending Rs 1,500 crores, when irrigation projects, including the Upper Krishna project, were pending for years. “If it goes on like this, pending projects will not be completed even after 10 years. Let us take up the KRS project when there is money in abundance but for now, let us give priority towards irrigation projects,” he said.
Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, in his first-ever budget presented on July 5, 2018, had proposed to restore the grandeur of Brindavan Gardens and Krishnarajasagara Dam, by developing it on the model of Disneyland, with public-private participation. Industrialists were eager to invest in the project, Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, had said in his budget speech, while providing Rs five crores to prepare the detailed project report.
Recently, Shivakumar had said the proposal regarding the project was yet to come before the cabinet and maintained that private partners would invest in it. Noting that about 300 acre land was available for the purpose, the minister had also said that the project would help in creating jobs for the local population.
The Brindavan Gardens, primarily a terrace garden, is laid out in about 60 acres, immediately behind the Krishnarajasagar dam across the river Cauvery. The Department of Horticulture had, in 1927, started the work of laying out this garden, then known as the Krishnarajendra Terrace Garden, under the aegis of Sir Mirza Ismail, the then dewan of the princely state of Mysore.