Friday, July 02, 2010

Who will restore the green?

Who will restore the green?

Now that the chief minister has announced his decision to stop construction at the Indira Gandhi Musical
Fountain park, Bangaloreans will heave a sigh of relief. As we feel triumphant, some questions remain

Bosky Khanna. Bangalore



Work on the construction of the National Military Memorial (NMM) at Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain park, which began in a jiffy after the June 4 ruling of the high court that construction could begin in the park, has suddenly come to a standstill. So what happens now?
Former Karnataka high court judge MF Saldanha said the least the government could do now was replant the lost trees. Native species like rain trees could be planted here. Rs2 lakh, of the total sanctioned project cost of Rs12 crore, had already been spent. The park had been dug up, and some temporary structures to house labourers had been constructed.
"Since the chief minister has decided to stop the work and shift the memorial elsewhere, the NMM committee members should pay back the money spent to the exchequer," justice Saldanha said. "All individuals, including Rajeev Chandrashekhar (chairman of NMM committee), who was the brain behind this, and the chief minister, should reimburse the public money. They should not start work without proper planning. They should realise that they cannot waste public money," justice Saldanha said.
Dr Sudhir Pai, secretary of the Krishna Apartment Owners' Association, which has been at the forefront of the legal battle against the construction of the war memorial within the park, said, "The government should restore the park. I will mobilise resources and bring back the park's original glory. We will plant saplings, fill up the dug pits, and clear all construction material."
TV Mohandas Pai, chief of human resources, Infosys, said, "This decision will go a long way in protecting all the parks in the city." Captain GR Gopinath, founder of Air Deccan, said, "I admire the CM and congratulate him for this decision."

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