By: Pune Pulse
September 11, 2023
PUNE: The authorities of the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum have requested the state government to provide funding of Rs 25 crore to commence construction on the ‘Museum City’ project.
The project will be spread across six acres of land in Bavdhan, which was granted to the museum in two phases by the state government in 2005.
As per information even after 18 years, the museum has been unable to secure sufficient funds to initiate construction. Recently, the authorities presented a proposal to seek funding from the government. The estimated cost of the Museum City, which will comprise the main museum building and a facility center is expected to be Rs 90 crore.
Director Sudhanva Ranade has informed that they will approach the state government to allocate an initial Rs 25 crore to commence the project, which will provide space for over 24,000 artifacts. Currently, the museum, situated off Bajirao Road and a part of Pune’s cultural heritage, only displays 11 per cent of the artifacts, while the remainder is stored in large storage rooms or below the main display due to space constraints.
The museum was established through the efforts of Padmashree Dr. DG alias Kakasaheb Kelkar, who amassed an exceptional range of folk arts and Indian craftsmanship. In 1975, he generously donated his collection to the Maharashtra government for future generations. According to a report from the Pune district administration, the proposal for another five-year extension, submitted by the Pune divisional commissioner to the state government, is currently under consideration.
The ‘Museum City’ will become a significant state landmark due to its extensive display of artifacts. Ranade emphasized that if the government provides funds for this project, the carefully collected items can be preserved for future generations. While the state government had previously increased the museum’s annual maintenance grant from Rs 55 lakh to Rs 60 lakh, the museum’s board has repeatedly submitted a proposal to the state government, through the Divisional Commissioner, to further increase it to Rs 85 lakh per annum.