President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the newly constructed Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belgaum on Thursday (Oct 11). Bowing to public demand, the government has decided to name Suvarna Soudha as Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, said KG Bopaiah, Speaker, legislative assembly.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar visited the Soudha on Sunday and inspected the preparations for the inaugural function. PWD minister C M Udasi was also present.
Speaking after doing a survey of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, Bopaiah said, “All the works are complete except the cleaning part which will be done in a couple of days. The house is ready for the session.” The building erected to conduct some sessions of the State’s legislature was renamed Suvarna Vidhan Soudha (SVS) by the government. It was previously called Suvarna Soudha.
Bopaiah said the name was changed after a meeting with the elected representatives and officials concerned, because the public found it more appropriate.
After inaugurating the Soudha, Mukherjee will address a joint session of the state legislature. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar will also address the session.
The President will also present the Jnanpith award to poet, playwright Chandrashekhar Kambar at a separate function to be held at Gandhi Bhavan.
“All facilities available in the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore have been made available in SVS, the only difference being that SVS has a Central Hall,” said Bopaiah.
The words ‘Work is Worship’ (kayakave kailasa) by 12th Century poet Basavanna will be inscribed on the facade of SVS, said Bopaiah.
Law Minister Suresh Kumar said former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief H D Deve Gowda, all the surviving former chief ministers, Union ministers, Speakers and legislators will be invited for the inauguration.
The Soudha has been constructed as a part of Karnataka’s reiteration of its control over Belgaum in its inter-state rivalry with Maharashtra for control of the district. While the proposal to build a legislature building in Belgaum to counter Maharashtra’s claim to the area had been mooted several years ago, it was after HD Kumaraswamy became Chief Minister that the project gained momentum.
In 2007, B S Yeddyurappa, the then Deputy Chief Minister allotted funds to build the new legislature building at the Halga-Bastwad site in Belgaum on the Bangalore-Mumbai highway, which is a part of the Golden Quadrilateral project.
The work however began on the building in August 2009 and it was supposed to be completed by January 2011.
The original budget was of 230 crores. The Pune-based B G Shirke Construction Technology Pvt. Ltd. were given the contract to construct the building.
There were repeated extensions of the deadline on account of tardy progress in construction. By August 2012, the cost of the building alone had reached 391 crore with estimates suggesting a final bill of nearly 500 crore on its completion.
The Suvarna Vidhana Soudha has been so named to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Karnataka’s formation day. The building is a three floored structure spread over 16,138 sq.m and consists of an Assembly hall that seats 300, a Council hall for 100 members, a 450-seat auditorium, 38 ministerial chambers and 14 meeting halls. The entire complex has come up on 127 acres of land that was acquired from farmers in the area. The Ashok Chakra atop the main dome of the building measures 3.68 metres by 2.11 metres and weighing 6.50 tonnes was created by the V T N Creative Art Studio in Bangalore.
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Former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, MP Prahlad Joshi and Hubli-Dharwad West MLA Arvind Bellad had also sought an inquiry