Mysore: The proposal to establish India’s first rocket museum in Tipu Sultan’s rocket court in Srirangapatna, which fired the world’s first war rocket during the Anglo-Mysore war, could make headway now with the new Director General (Life Sciences) of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), Dr. Manas K Mandal seeming more inclined to make it a reality soon.
Dr. Mandal is expected to visit Mysore later this month with a battery of DRDO officials to inspect the historic monument in Srirangapatna.
Former DRDO Chief Controller (LS), Dr. W. Selvamurthy, had suggested the establishment of the rocket museum during his visit to Srirangapatna almost a year ago.
But after his retirement the project hit a road block as it had no takers both in the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Karnataka.
The DRDO plans to have a life-size prototype of BrahMos, a supersonic cruise missile, and models of a wide range of missiles like Prithvi, Agni and ballistic missiles, besides an original piece of Tipu’s rocket at the proposed rocket museum.
Additional Director, DRDO (LS) , Ravindra Kumar, says Dr. Mandal wants to treat the project with priority. “We will now pursue the matter aggressively and see that the project is realized,” he said.
Currently, the monument has many encroachments and a portion of its front wall has collapsed.
Former DRDO Chief Controller, Dr. Sivathanu Pillai, had in 2006 submitted a report on the pathetic condition of the rocket court and recommended that it be converted into a rocket museum.
Former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, popularly known as ‘rocket man’ for his exploits in missile technology, has devoted a chapter to the rockets of Mysore in his book ‘Wings of Fire,’ underlining their historical signficance.