Friday, February 05, 2010

BDA to fell trees at musical fountain

No rhyme or reason at musical fountain

Experts suggest that trees be planted to celebrate martyrdom

Bosky Khanna. Bangalore

Should we tamper with existing lung spaces while the rest of the city is in dire need of new ones? This is the question city experts are asking, as the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) plans to construct a war memorial and park in an existing lung space — Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain.
"We are not against the construction of a war memorial; it is a matter of pride. But instead of felling trees and creating artificial playgrounds in an existing lung space, BDA should focus on creating more parks. The CBD has lost over 50% of its green cover to various infrastructure projects," said biodiversity expert, Harish R Bhat.
BDA plans to create a Rs15-crore war memorial on 6.10 acres of the 15-acre Indira Gandhi garden. The memorial will comprise a park, museum and a symbolic stone to commemorate the martyrs.
BDA commissioner, H Siddaiah, said that the project, assigned to it by the state government, would begin in March and would be completed in a year. He said the authority would ensure that the least number of trees were felled for the purpose.
The land was handed over to the authority in 2009. BDA official AN Thyagaraja said that the location was opposite the Jawaharlal Planetarium, frequented by children. Hence, the memorial would also attract them.
However, experts suggest that the authority plant trees to remember martyrs. "BDA can construct a war memorial at Manekshaw Parade Ground or Field Marshal Cariappa Ground. It is a traditional practice to plant native trees in the memory of martyrs, which later grow into parks. Small granite stones can be erected below the trees with the martyrs' names as a memorial," Harish said.
Naturalist R Sheshadri said that places like MEG Centre, and areas near Ulsoor and Cantonment could also be used for a memorial.
Hasiru Usiru member Vinay Sreenivas said that there was no clarity on how many trees would be axed. He said designs were being prepared without taking into consideration the existing tree cover and lung space. The agency should create a park for a memorial — a novel concept for Bangalore.
Former BDA commissioner K Jyothiramalingam said that creating a war memorial was not listed under civic amenity sites. Since parks and playgrounds were listed under them, a war memorial with a park or playground around it could be considered. k_bosky@dnaindia.netmartyred again: The BDA will fell trees at the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain in Bangalore to construct a full-fledged memorial for war heroes


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