Ex-servicemen, at a protest meeting here on Sunday, said that the war memorial (National Military Memorial) at the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park would not disturb the serenity of the park.
“The memorial will blend with the environment. Only four eucalyptus trees and one Ashoka tree will be cut for the memorial. It will be built in conformity with the rules related to the park,” said Major General (Retd) M.C. Nanjappa, spokesperson for ex-servicemen.
“This memorial will be the first to be built in the country by a government in honour of those who have laid down their lives. As many as 1,843 personnel from Karnataka have been killed so far. We want this memorial to be built in time, which will be an honour for such ex-servicemen and war widows,” Maj. Gen (Retd) Nanjappa said.
In 2008, the State Government allotted 6.4 acres of the 17-acre premises of the musical fountain for building a war memorial. The then Governor Rameshwar Thakur laid the foundation stone in February 2009 and the Bangalore Development Authority was given the task of building it.
The Krishna Apartment Residents Welfare Association has questioned the removal of trees in the musical fountain for the memorial as this was the only lung space for the residents of Ali Asker Road, Vasanth Nagar, High Grounds and surrounding areas. On a public interest litigation petition, a Division Bench of the High Court of Karnataka issued a stay order against felling of trees on April 8.
“The memorial will not affect the residents who come here for morning walk, but will improve the conditions, including providing a better walkway. About 40 trees will be planted in the area,” Maj. Gen (Retd) Nanjappa said.
Meanwhile, on Sunday evening, a group of citizens that included Congress leader V.S. Ugrappa, Infosys Board member Mohandas Pai, MLA N.A. Harris, met Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to urge him to direct the Government to construct the memorial elsewhere.
“We sought the Governor's help for the protection of citizens' rights. The quality of life in the city has seen a steep decline. The Governor informed us that he has written to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa about the National Policy on War Memorial. The policy clearly states that citizens' sentiments should not be hurt,” Mr. Pai said.
He also said that the citizens were only opposed to the location of the memorial. “The ideal location is the Barde Barracks, opposite Manipal Centre, on Dickenson Road. The Army land is lying vacant there,” he added.
Mr. Ugrappa said that the Governor had not yet heard from Mr. Yeddyurappa.
Keywords: Homage to the war heroes