The quintessential identity of Bhubaneswar, the warrior-horse replica which has been adopted by Odisha government as its emblem may soon be out of sight from the Master Canteen Square, its home over the last 3 decades.
As per sources, the replica of the famous sculpture of Konark which was carved out by Padma Vibhushan late Raghunath Mohapatra will soon be relocated to a new spot, the Raj Bhawan Square to make way for a Rs 80-crore Smart Janpath project.
The Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) had proposed relocation of the statue which symbolises the might of ancient Kalinga and the proposal has already been approved by the State Culture Department.
The State Government has clarified that due to widening of roads and construction of a multi-modal hub at the city railway station under the Smart City project, the iconic sculpture will lose its visibility, so it will be placed in the roundabout in front of the Governor’s House to properly showcase its beauty.
This apart, it is also being said that the State government has decided to move the statue as it is not an ancient sculpture.
It may be mentioned here that despite being a landmark in the State Capital city of Bhubaneswar, the sculpture continues to lie neglected without proper maintenance.
With sources saying that the Bhubaneswar Development Authority set to constitute a panel and undertake process for the shifting of the statue in a month, the development has triggered discontent among various sections of people.
The Odisha unit of Congress has warned to launch a massive stir if the move materialises. "The city administration has not sought any consultations with local residents of Bhubaneswar, intellectuals, political parties and experts before proceeding in this regard. We urge Odisha government not to shift the iconic sculpture from the Master Canteen but rather find some alternative solution,” said senior Congress leader Sura Routray.