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Man who made tomorrow

JAIDEEP SHENOY

Have you visited the site where the statue of the architect of Dakshina Kannada stands?


MANGALORE

Through the nature of his contribution, late Ullal Srinivas Mallya, a visionary par excellence, helped transform the very face of erstwhile undivided Dakshina Kannada district, which since has been bifurcated into Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts respectively.

It was Mallya's vision which saw the construction of the New Mangalore Port, Bajpe airport, National Highway 17 and most importantly Karnataka Regional Engineering College (since upgraded into National Institute of Technology, Karnataka). Despite these achievements, it was not until his birth centenary year last year was there any move to perpetuate his memory for posterity.

After much delay the life-size statue of Mallya located at the junction of Nanthoor road and National Highway 17 was renovated by the City Corporation. From a near decrepit state, this cement statue has since become the cynosure of all eyes.

The Reliance group reacted positively to a request from the City Corporation authorities to come up with a meaningful contribution to the city in lieu of permission sought by them to expand their infrastructural services in and around the city. It was the creative effort of consultant Ashok Mendonca, which transformed the site where the statue of Srinivas Mallya was located into one of the "must visit'' spots in Mangalore.

The entire area was landscaped and a small garden constructed round the enclosed area.

Incidentally, the only two other statues of Srinivas Mallya are located outside the main entrances of New Mangalore Port and NITK.

The former President, R. Venkataraman had unveiled the second of these statues of his friend Mallya at a function organised to mark the birth centenary year of the architect of modern Dakshina Kannada district.

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