Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Memorial doesn't need 7 acres, says BKC

Memorial doesn't need 7 acres, says BKC

Team DNA. Bangalore

Several trees have been chopped and concrete blocks have been piled up as excavation work progresses at a steady pace at the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain park for the construction of a war memorial.
When Team DNA visited the park on Tuesday, former minister BK Chandrashekar was inspecting the project. He said that the "high court did not direct them to build this structure". It was also not mandatory to build an elaborate war memorial using all of the seven acres of the park, he said. The former minister was accompanied by well known writer K Marulasiddappa.
"Parks have their own serenity and it wouldn't be right to build such a thing as a memorial in a park; its sanctity will be lost," Chandrashekar said, while Marulasiddappa questioned the necessity of a private trust for the upkeep of the memorial and the large funds allocated for its construction.
Taking a holistic view of greenery and the assault on trees in the city, Chandrashekar said that he was concerned about "not just one park, but all the other parks in the city. I feel that all parks need to be preserved and protected".
Seeing more than what meets the eye in the controversy, Marulasiddappa had a revealing statement to make: "Occupation of seven acres of land hints at a more commercialised centre in the park, which would result in pollution."
A motivational hall is being planned at the memorial in order to inculcate patriotism and make the young generation aware of the soldier. The plan doesn't seem to stop here, as it aims to attract the public and turn the memorial into a tourist spot. Highlighting this, Marulasiddappa said that the motivational hall would digress from the actual purpose of the memorial. "A simple construction can also serve the purpose," he suggested. Is anybody listening?
Earlier this month, the high court had dismissed a petition against the memorial. A division bench comprising justices Manjula Chellur and Mohan Shantanagoudar on June 4 said that the proposed war memorial was in the interest of the public and a matter of pride for Bangaloreans. It stated that the structure would not cause any harm and was only in the interest of the general public. However, the verdict did not mention anything about the trees that would be felled for the purpose.
"I would like to compliment our chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and transport minister R Ashoka for considering public opinion on the Lalbagh issue. I would appreciate of they take similar steps in this case too," Chandrashekar remarked.
The former minister signed off saying that the war memorial could be a simpler one, consisting of pillars with names of martyrs inscribed on them, rather than an elaborate structure occupying seven acres of greenery.


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