Sunday, April 25, 2010

Green CM oblivious to axe effect

Green CM oblivious to axe effect
Asked about felling of trees in Indira Gandhi Park, proposed venue of war memorial, Yeddyurappa fumbles for answers
NIRANJAN KAGGERE


Is Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa in the dark about the chopping of trees at Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park near Raj Bhavan? The answer is probably in the affirmative.
This was evident as the CM fumbled for an answer on Saturday when Bangalore Mirror asked him to justify the State Government’s stand on the controversy over the war memorial proposed to come up in the park.
The CM, the chairman of the executive committee pushing for the project, paused for a few seconds and said, “I will consult our officers and seek details from them.”
The war memorial issue had turned into a battle between project promoters led by MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar on one side and residents and green activists on the other.
While the project promoters maintain the memorial is necessary to inculcate a sense of patriotism among youngsters, citizens have been opposing construction activity at the cost of greenery.
Even Governor H R Bhardwaj had opposed the project, citing security reasons, and had written to Yeddyurappa suggesting relocation of the memorial as it would prevent chopping of trees.
Ironically, the CM had called media persons on Saturday to brief them about his government’s commitment to increase greenery in around Bangalore.
Expressing concern over the depleting green cover, he said, “I acknowledge we have lost several trees owing to roadwidening and the Metro Rail project. But we cannot afford to lose more trees, so we plan to plant five lakh saplings ahead of the monsoons.”
When BM asked why he was silent on the issue of axing of trees in the park, a baffled Yeddyurappa said, “I will look into the details and take appropriate action.”
Spare trees:
Residents
The Krishna Apartments Owners’ Welfare Association (KAOWA) had filed a public interest litigation against the proposed felling of trees for a meditation hall as part of the war memorial at the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park. The PIL was filed after no action was taken on their representation to the government. The government had notified 17.04 acres of land as park under the Karnataka Government Parks (Preservation) Act, 1975. Six acres has been marked for the ‘war memorial’, which will spell doom for 33 trees.

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