Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) will soon constitute an expert committee that will prepare a detailed strategy to relocate the iconic warrior-horse statue at Master Canteen Square for the Smart Janpath project.
Installed in 1988 by the BDA itself, the ancient replica of the famous sculpture of Sun Temple showcasing a warrior with the horse, will make way for the proposed multi-modal hub project at city railway station. While the Culture department has given approval for relocation of the statue, BDA has been entrusted with the shifting of the structure and will bear expenses involved in it.
“The replica along with other statues placed at the Master Canteen Square will be shifted to the roundabout at Governor House Square in front of Raj Bhawan and will be placed adjacent to the statue of Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das. As it is an important landmark of the city, we will form an expert committee which will ensure that no harm is caused to the sculpture during its relocation,” a BDA official said.
Although the statue is also an emblem adopted by the state government, the structure is set to lose its place to the ambitious multi-modal hub project which was proposed by the Odisha government in September 2019. An MoU signed between the BDA and East Coast Railway had planned to develop a state-of-the-art railway station, coupled with city bus terminal, multi-level car parking among others, spread over an area of a whopping 1.74 lakh sq ft.
While the idea of relocation was proposed by the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL), the approval for the same was given by the Culture department after it was decided that the statue did not have ‘ancient’ status. As per the Ministry of Culture, any structure is considered ancient which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and has been in existence for not less than 100 years.
Moreover, sources said that the relocation was also given approval as the department felt that the structure will lose visibility as widening of roads for Smart Janpath and multi-modal hub is set to begin. With ample space left at Governor’s House roundabout, the structure will be safely placed in order not to lose the city’s unique identity.