The TOI has made this in depth story about the Suvarna Vidhan Soudha and says with Rs 1 lakh/day for upkeep, Suvarna Soudha is a 100% liability and humongous mistake.
The SVS hardly functions for 10 days in year, for the assembly session in which also there is thin attendance of the elected Representatives, then for whom is this all been done is the biggest question.
As a senior Congress minister said of the Suvarna Soudha, “It is the biggest slip-up in the history of Karnataka so far.” It’s not hard to guess who largely benefited from the construction of Suvarna Soudha here, built at a whopping cost of Rs 436 crore. The edifice, where the winter session of state legislature is currently on, makes a political statement, but is expensive to maintain and utterly inaccessible.
It has failed to meet the expectations of the people of North Karnataka —the main reason why it was originally conceived by then CM HD Kumaraswamy. Officials say the PWD department spends Rs 4 crore a year on maintenance alone. This roughly translates to over Rs 1lakh a day.
No offices have been shifted to the SVS even after many requests and the PWD no offices have shifted here since it was inaugurated in 2012.
Law minister T B Jayachandra said repeated efforts to shift government departments or a public sector enterprise here, have met with resistance. “Over three years, I personally tried to get government departments to move to SVS and make it operational 365 days a year. They have resisted, citing personal or official reasons,” he said.
The PWD had even prepared a line estimate of Rs 100 crore for constructing a 300-400 room hotel, spanning four floors. “However, the architects believed that constructing a hotel of that size in front of the SVS would aesthetically kill the Soudha, and its purpose of making a statement. So a location on the northern side, in a depression and away from the SVS, was suggested. But at this location, the vantage point for attracting customers was lost for private parties, and the few hoteliers who were interested backed out,” said the PWD official.
The PWD had also floated a proposal to have a rock garden or a theme park on 65 acres of undeveloped land within the campus, to generate revenue for maintenance of the grandiose structure. “But even this plan is yet to get traction. The idea of a theme park was to give the people of Belagavi a place to have family time and some fun,” said the official.
Tourism minister Priyank Kharge said his department has been considering options to develop the SVS into a tourism destination. “I will meet assembly speaker K B Koliwad to discuss this issue. The SVS needs to be utilized through the year, and plans are being conceptualized,” said Kharge.
Suvarna Vidhan soudha is a white elephant built at a cost of 436 crores and Rs 1 lakh/day are spent for upkeep, when no one intends to use it even during the session which is clear from the thin attendance of the law makers.
Each year they say issues relating to North Karnataka will be given impetus but nothing happens, people come protest, there are walk outs, and in the end nothing for North Karnataka.