| The CCTV camera fixed on a bamboo pole atop the state emblem at the Master Canteen roundabout. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, May 21: The state government’s official emblem, the replica of the warrior and the horse sculpture from the famous sun temple at Konark, is wallowing in neglect at the Master Canteen roundabout.
The callousness of the authorities towards this artistic showpiece is further highlighted by the fact that police have attached a bamboo pole to it to fix a closed-circuit television camera to keep watch on the surrounding areas. The camera has only served to disfigure the artwork.
The famous replica has been lying there in neglect for the last few years. A number of tiles from its platform had earlier disappeared. The area around it was overgrown with plants and weeds.
The CCTV camera has disfigured the artwork even more. In fact, it is against all sense of aesthetics to have the pole placed on the state emblem. The camera could have been installed at some other place around the roundabout.
A senior police official said that the CCTV camera was placed to monitor law and order situation along Mahatma Gandhi Marg during Assembly sessions. But, the pole has stayed there.
“We always blame the people who tie flags to sculptures during rallies. But here, the police have installed a bamboo pole on the state emblem. From a distance it would seem as if the horse is holding the bamboo,’’ said Bijay Mishra, a resident of Nayapalli.
The sandstone sculptor was erected in 1988 by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA). In 2012, the iron grill around it was converted into a sandstone parapet but the sculpture, which is the centrepiece at the roundabout, is yet to get the respect it deserves.
The emblem, commonly known as Konark horse, symbolises discipline, strength and progress. As the warriors of Kalinga had fought bravely in the past, the state government made it part of its emblem just like the Union government had made the lion-head on Ashoka pillar its official symbol.
Sculptor and artist Prafulla Maharana suggests that the state emblem should get proper attention and no other structures, fittings, posters or flags should be allowed to disfigure the beauty and honour of the sculpture at such a prime locality in the city.
BDA horticulturist Ashok N. Dhar said: “The Master Canteen roundabout had already gone through several rounds of changes in its shape. Two years ago we replaced the damaged iron grill with a stone grill, but as there is another plan to change the shape of the square jointly by the railways and public works department, we are not investing on the roundabout.’’
However, regarding repair of the sculpture, Dhar said: “The culture department has to look after it.”
Director of culture department Sushil Kumar Das told The Telegraph: “The BDA has to look after the sculpture representing the state emblem. The culture department was in no way connected with installation of the sculpture in 1988.”
Contacted, police commissioner R.K. Sharma said: “We will check the location of the CCTV camera and if there is any objectionable thing detected as it involves the state emblem, then it would be removed from the place immediately.’’