Mysuru Royalty Closes Devikere Road Atop Chamundi Hill
Mysore/Mysuru: Close on the heels of the members of the erstwhile Mysore royal family upset over not consulting them on the restoration works of Devikere and other development works atop the Chamundi Hill as the land on which Devikere is located belongs to them, a new gate has been installed overnight on the road leading to Devikere. It has been locked and security personnel have been posted there. A signboard restricting the entry of the public has been put up.
It may be recalled here that an advocate from Mysore Palace visited Devikere recently and took exception to the Lake development works without bringing it to the notice of the royal family members.
The Minor Irrigation Department is undertaking works to give a facelift to Devikere and as part of the project, earth-movers were being used to lift the tonnes of silt from the Lake that has been deposited for years. The works have been taken up at a cost of Rs. 7.5 crore.
In addition to the works at Devikere, a solid waste management plant is being built at a cost of Rs. 76 lakh and the Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) has sanctioned Rs. 6 crore to provide drinking water. All the works have been stalled now following the royal family’s objection.
The royal family claims that the Lake and its surroundings are their properties and no work can be taken up without their consent. Yesterday, the gate on the road that leads from Chidambareshwar Temple to Devikere was locked to prevent unauthorised entry. The gate is located on the main road near the multi-level parking lot.
This move, however, has inconvenienced the villagers residing on top of the Hill. As the gate is locked, even the inhabitants of the Hill for decades have been restricted from entering their areas through this road. Unaware of the restriction, many villagers were shocked as this is the only road that can lead them to their houses.
As the gate has come up right in the middle of the road (see pic above), villagers of a particular section or area near the Devikere cannot take their vehicles inside. Neither they can move freely now as the entry is restricted. When the villagers spotted the gate initially, they broke it open. However, within hours, a restricted entry board was placed and security personnel posted there.
There are steps from the Sri Chamundeshwari Temple connecting Devikere and the houses of that area. Here there is no scope to take vehicles.
Concerned about the developments, the Chamundi Hill villagers living around Devikere who have been locked out are planning to meet Pramoda Devi Wadiyar to urge her to make way for the villagers and not to lock the gate as their movements will be curtailed.
Villagers to meet Pramoda Devi
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Chamundi Hill Gram Panchayat President Bharat Kalaiah said that the move to lock the gate is inconveniencing the villagers who are not aware of the land dispute.
“We have tremendous respect for the royal family and Pramoda Devi is like a mother to all of us. Residents of Chamundi Hill look up to the royal family and have high regard. They will never go against the sentiments of the royal family and they will maintain the same regard and respect towards the family members. We will urge Pramoda Devi Wadiyar to open the gates in the interest of the villagers,” he said.
“The residents of this part of the Hill are dependent on the road and there is a regular movement of school children and ambulances during emergencies. Therefore, locking the gate will lead to hardship. We will soon meet Pramoda Devi and explain our plight to her,” Bharat added.