Pilikula planetarium was BJP govt. initiative: Yogish Bhat

11:22 AM, Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

pilikulaMangaluru: The former Mangaluru South MLA and former Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly N. Yogish Bhat on Tuesday said that the Congress government as well his successor J.R. Lobo have appropriated credit for the construction of the Swami Vivekananda 3D Planetarium at Dr. K. Shivaram Karanth Pilikula Nisargadhama.

It was the Bharatiya Janata Party government that had not only sanctioned the project but had also commenced work during 2008-2013, Mr. Bhat told reporters here. Besides sanctioning the project at an initial cost of ₹ 11 crore, the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had sanctioned an additional amount of ₹ 13.5 crore to upgrade the planetarium from 2D to 3D. The former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar had laid the foundation stone for the project, he noted.

Mr. Bhat said that the district administration considered his proposal for the project in 2012 while the government consented to name it after Swami Vivekananda to commemorate the saint-philosopher’s 150th birth anniversary year. Consequently, the present planetarium, said to be the first such one in the country, has come up, he noted.

Taking a dig at Mr. Lobo, the former legislator said that it is ridiculous that flex banners have come up across the city hailing his successor’s role in bringing the project to the city and termed it cheap politics. Questioning the five-year delay in completing the project, Mr. Bhat said that Mr. Lobo owed an answer for the delay and should explain numerous overseas trips to finalise the technology.

He also demanded that Mr. Lobo explain the selection of the contractor and payments made in excess of the amount quoted in the tender towards buildings and electronic equipment.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bhat said that the incumbent legislator owes an explanation to the people on the inordinate delay in implementing various components of Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environment Management Plan implemented under ₹ 410 crore ADB-funded project in Mangaluru. The former legislator said that he brought the discrepancies in the execution of the project to the notice of the ADB officials during their recent visit to the city.

Mr. Lobo should also explain the delay in issuing work order to the successful bidder for changing the Pumping Main from Kudroli to Kavoor at a cost of ₹ 93 crore under the second phase of the project.

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