Thiruvananthapuram

Land for war memorial identified at Akkulam

A decades-old dream of having a war memorial in the State capital for soldiers who fought in wars and military operations in the post-Independence era is expected to be fulfilled soon.

After attempts to erect the memorial near the Shanghumughom beach fell flat due to land-related objections, an alternate location has been identified at Akkulam, in the neighbourhood of the tourist village and the Southern Air Command (SAC) headquarters.

The Revenue Department has issued orders granting permissive sanction to the Sainik Welfare Department for constructing the memorial on 1.5 acres of ‘sarkar puramboke’ land.

Post-Independence

Armed forces veterans have been demanding a memorial for soldiers who fought in the 1962 India-China war, the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, the 1999 Kargil war and operations over the past decades. The existing war memorial in the city, opposite the College of Fine Arts at Palayam, commemorates soldiers who fought in World War I.

The State government had issued the original order transferring 1.15 acres of land at Shanghumughom on June 28, 1999. “The land was encroached upon and converted into a playground by the local community. Due to violent objections from the local residents, this land could not be transferred to the Sainik Welfare Department,” the Revenue Department noted in a September 18 order. On June 20, 2018, the State government constituted a War Memorial Committee to thrash out a solution.

This six-member panel had studied the feasibility of identifying an alternative location for the structure. The land at Akkulam was finalised after a joint inspection by the director and joint secretary of the Sainik Welfare Department, officers of the defence forces, and the Deputy Collector (LR), Thiruvananthapuram.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 11:43:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/land-for-war-memorialidentified-at-akkulam/article32749758.ece

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