Ex-servicemen have been left shocked, hurt and humiliated after the state government’s unforeseen decision to stop the ongoing work at the National Military Memorial at the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park.
“We are not only very disappointed but also very humiliated by the CM’s decision for calling off work at the memorial, which was supported by all citizens. It is sad that such a memorial, which would have been the first of its kind in the country, has been dragged into a controversy,” said spokesperson of the sub-committee on the memorial, Major General (Retd) M C Nanjappa.
“There seems to be some politics. Otherwise, no right thinking person will oppose such a project, which is nothing but a multi-religious temple,” he added.
Expressing similar views, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, chairman of the memorial committee, noted that it was Yeddyurappa government’s decision to build a memorial in honour of the martyred soldiers of Karnataka and their families in the centre of the city for easy visibility and access to children and visitors.
“This decision [to call off the construction] could have been taken much earlier by the Chief Minister and that would have spared tremendous cost, money and time spent by many people of our city and most importantly spared the many families of martyrs and veterans the humiliation and trauma of this unseemly controversy,” Chandrasekhar said.
He added that the National Military Memorial Committee that the CM had set up was neither intimated about the decision nor was given the rationale behind it. He pointed out that the Karnataka High Court had endorsed the construction of the memorial and even the Supreme Court had declined to stay it.
On June 5, the Karnataka High Court paved the way for the construction of the memorial while dismissing a public interest litigation filed by the Krishna Apartment Owners Welfare Association, which had challenged the construction. On June 28, the Supreme Court too declined to stay the government’s initiative while agreeing to examine the matter and issued notice to the state government.
The resident welfare association had been protesting against the construction of the war memorial, an auditorium over a six-acre land, as it was violating the Karnataka Government Parks (Preservation) Act, 1975, which prohibits any form of construction or change of land use in government parks.
At a felicitation programme organised by Rotary International here on Thursday, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said the government wanted to change people’s perception towards war memorial and thereby it was being shifted to some other location.
Meanwhile, work on the site has come to a standstill following his announcement.
-via Express Buzz