The Vaccine depot which has a long history to it came into the lime light when there were rumors that it will be good site for building the Suvarna Vidhan Soudha in August 2007. Environmentalists and nature lovers came together and raised voice that the rich heritage and the flora and fauna should be saved and preserved.
The government also headed to the demand in late 2008 and it was decided by BUDA (Belagavi Urban Development Authority) that a Heritage park needs to be setup in these 100 acres Vaccine depot without cutting or demolishing many buildings housed in it. Infact even a foundation stone was laid. In 2009 Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Limited made a report on the same and viability of a heritage park and this story is made from that report.
Now the same Heritage park has been proposed to be developed under the Smart city project. The same project made in 2009 has been embodied in this smart city plan. Nothing under the Smart city plan has commenced hence we are still unclear when the actual work on the same would commence.
Belagavi Vaccine Depot is located in the heart of the city and spreads to about 100 acres. Vaccine Depot is a mini exotic forest and has about 3700 varieties of medicinal plants and has a potential to be preserved as a natural reserve. The site has lush greenery and a seasonal natural drain flows during rainy season and has potential for being developed as a landscape element. The site is a treasure of exotic flora and fauna.
There are 64 existing buildings out of which some of the buildings are nearly 100 years old. The buildings are used as offices of the District Health Officer and storage facilities for various vaccines.
- August 2007 site was selected for Assembly house
- 2008 BUDA decides to make it a Heritage Park
- 2009 – Infrastructure Development Corporation makes feasibility and DPR
- March 13, 2011 – BS Yedurappa Foundation stone for Glass house – 25 Crore
- December 1, 2011 – cabinet approved proposal
- November 2012 – Grameen Bharat Culture museum work begun
- Nov 2013 – Minister says work will start soon
- June 2015 – New foundation stone for Glass house at Vaccine Depot – Rs.150 lakhs
- November 2016 – Medicinal plants to adorn Vaccine Depot
The Belagavi Urban Development Authority (BUDA) had planned walkers pathway, joggers pathway, swimming pool (international standard), children’s amusement park and zoo, musical fountain and waterfalls/hanging bridge, boating, landscapes, art gallery, mono rail, recreation club, snack centre (with canteen and ice cream parlor), badminton hall/shuttles/billiards, volleyball, basketball, lawn tennis courts and medicinal plants.
On Nov 30, 2013 Shamanoor Shivashankarappa minister for Horticulture in a reply to Umesh Kattis question the assembly replied that the work on the Heritage park at Vaccine depot would be commenced soon. A sum of Rs.2 crores have been set aside for the same he added.
Historical value of Vaccine Depot:
The Belagavi Vaccine Depot also known as Vaccine Institute was started by Captain F.H.G. Hutchinson for manufacturing Small Pox vaccine in 1904 under the then Government of Bombay Province. The institute was shifted to its present premises in Tilakwadi following completion of building construction works in 1909. The institute was manufacturing 40 million doses of freeze dried small pox vaccine and supplying all over the country and to neighboring countries as well. During 1954, the vaccine was changed from cow-calf to sheep-based. Following reorganization of States, the administration of institute came under the control of Government of Karnataka in 1956.
In 1968, the vaccine was changed from sheep to buffalo calf and the production capacity was increased to 47 million doses in 1974 — one third of total requirement of the country.
The manufacturing of the vaccine was cut down in 1977 in view of zero incidence of small pox in the country and completely stopped in 1978. Yet, during the same year, the activities of the institute switched over to manufacture of neural tissue anti-rabies vaccine (NTV). Initiatives on experimental works connected with preparation of Tetanus Toxoid and Diphtheria fraction were also taken up in 1985.
Purpose of Heritage Park –
The purpose for the development of the project is to preserve and portray Belagavi’s heritage. To provide a platform for the city’s craftsmen to exhibit their art and also generate employment opportunities for the same. To create urban green space for the citizens through the concept of “Community Park”.
The proposed Heritage Park would be an integrated campus to promote heritage, tourism development and create recreational space for the city as well as surrounding region.
The principle concept of the Heritage Park is one of sustainable development. The focus of the sustainable design process is to achieve an aesthetic response to the program, while minimizing the ecological footprint of the development and conserving the existing built form.
The proposed heritage park shall have integral elements to promote art and culture blended with amusement related activities. Heritage Park is envisaged to cater to the needs of all age groups.
The overall development of the area is envisaged in following zones:
Amusement, Hospitality, Cultural & Landscape Zone , General Facilities. The proposed facilities are Art Gallery, Museum, Heritage Centre, Club & Philatelic Centre.
Boating, hanging bridge, musical fountain, rose garden, water falls, Mini train, various other rides, a sports complex with indoor and outdoor and swimming pool etc would be developed as a part of landscaped Park. The total Project Cost is estimated at around Rs. 26.2 Crore when planned.
Since 2008 We have been only hearing and reading about this Heritage park, we only hope our Grand children will atleast be lucky to see this park, if not we.