Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In a bid to beautify Bhubaneswar for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, the city administration had readied as many as 35 sculptures to be installed at various strategic locations and junctions of the Capital City. However, some of the sculptures are yet to be installed even though the mega event concluded one and a half months back.

The sculptures were made of stone, scrap and other materials and those were meant to showcase the art and culture of Odisha during the marquee event that was organised from January 13-29.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) had joined hands with Lalit Kala Akademi to carve those wonderful sculptures. As many as 40 sculptors including 15 from Odisha and 25 from other States and abroad had worked for months to construct those sculptures.

But these beautiful masterpieces, constructed with an expenditure of crores of rupees are now lying neglected on the premises of the State Institute for Development of Arts & Crafts with no specific plan. Being exposed to sun, rain and winter for months, some of those masterpieces have lost their sheen and elegance as well.

Before the start of the Hockey World Cup, BMC Mayor Sulochana Das had informed that sculptures prepared by some State and international sculptors will be installed at various locations in Bhubaneswar soon.

“Some of those sculptures have been installed and others will be installed in a day or two,” Das had said before the start of the Hockey World Cup.

Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) Vice-Chairman, Balwant Singh had also informed that the sculptures will be placed at locations where the work of the artists could be taken care of and respected.

“Most of the sculptures have been installed and other sculptures will be installed in maximum three days,” Singh had said before the mega event.

Despite the announcement, some of the sculptures are yet to be installed even after the completion of the mega event. The development has put a question mark over the intention of the government authorities.

Meanwhile, Lalit Kala Akademi Secretary Panchanan Samal informed that the sculptures will be installed in some parks soon.

“Places have been identified in some parks and the sculptures will be installed there soon,” said Samal.

However, as per some of the residents of Bhubaneswar, many people and tourists will not be able to witness the sculptures if installed in parks.

“Many people don’t have time to visit parks. Had the sculptures been installed on the roadside, all kinds of people could have got the opportunity to see and admire those masterpieces. It could have enhanced the beautification initiative of the city as well,” said a resident of Bhubaneswar.