Bowing to controversies and criticism from several quarters, the Odisha Government has decided to withdraw its decision to shift the iconic horse statue at Master Canteen square in Bhubaneswar, on Tuesday.
Commissioner, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Sanjay Singh informed about the change in plans and said it has been decided at the ‘Government level’.
Earlier last month, the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) had proposed relocation of the statue which symbolises the might of ancient Kalinga and the proposal was approved by the State Culture Department.
The State Government had stated that due to the widening of roads and construction of a multi-modal hub in the Capital city railway station- under the Smart City project- the iconic sculpture will lose its visibility. Therefore, it will be placed in the roundabout island in front of the Governor’s House to properly showcase its beauty, the government clarified.
However, opposing the decision of the Odisha government to relocate the warrior-horse replica from Master Canteen Square to Raj Bhawan Square, Opposition BJP and Congress had staged demonstrations near the iconic sculpture. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and several other organisations had also joined the movement protesting against Odisha’s government’s decision.
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. The replica of the famous sculpture of Konark was carved out by Padma Vibhushan late Raghunath Mohapatra.