Saturday, April 17, 2010

War of words on memorial continues

War of words on memorial continues
Bangalore, Apr 16, DHNS:

Rajya Sabha MP and Agenda For Bengaluru Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) Convenor Rajeev Chandrashekar has defended the proposed war memorial and has contested claims from residents and environmental groups that over 30 trees will be axed.

In a statement to residents who had opposed the move, Chandrashekar said only four trees will be “impacted.” Chandrashekar said the final design of the architect touches only four trees. Even these trees are eucalyptus or Ashoka trees and not heritage trees. All the heritage trees will be left untouched by the design.

The idea of the War Memorial was first proposed by ex-servicemen in 2009. Although the Government and ABIDe have aggressively pushed for the memorial, the project ran into rough weather in the face of stiff opposition from residents and environmental groups.

Subhashini Vasanth, the widow of martyr Colonel V Vasanth, who was killed in Kashmir, has expressed disappointment at the opposition to the war memorial. She said, “It makes me wonder if we are only hypocrites, who can think of nothing but our morning walks. This lack of regard for the protection the armed forces are bestowing upon us proves that we do not deserve the selfless sacrifice of soldiers.”

However, Vinay, an activist from an environment group, Hasiru Usiru, reiterated that irrespective of the number of trees which were being affected it was illegal to set up a memorial in park land.

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