War memorial an unwise proposal: Guv

A copy of this letter was submitted by the petitioners in the High Court on Tuesday.
B C Thiruvengadam, counsel for the petitioners Krishna Apartments Owners Welfare Association, submitted the letter dated March 30, 2010, to the Court.

In the letter, the Governor has said: “In my considered opinion, such a construction in front of Raj Bhavan is a highly unwise proposal. It will not only lead to cutting of green cover, which is already depleted, but will also cause problems like traffic congestion and security hazards in front of Raj Bhavan.”

Mentioning that he had received several petitions from residents, Bhardwaj said that though the idea of dedicated war memorial is laudable, but it should not be at this park.
Advocate General Ashok Harnahalli in his submission denied that there will be large scale tree felling and added that only four out of the 384 trees will be felled for construction of war memorial. He added that the greenery in the park will be restored after constructing an under ground war memorial, which includes a museum.

Revealing that the Chief Minister himself will be the head of the committee, Harnahalli said that other representatives on the board will include army authorities. The division bench comprising Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Mohan Shantanagowdar directed the State government to submit in writing the activities to be conducted at the war memorial. The State has been directed to file a detailed affidavit.

Case back ground

The petitioners, Krishna Apartments Owners Welfare Association and Dr Sudheer Pai, had moved the High Court seeking to prevent the felling of trees and construction of war memorial in the park.

The petitioners stated that the park adjacent to Raj  Bhavan measured 17.04 acre and since July 1998, had been subject to a government policy which restricted the construction of any buildings on the site.

They alleged that despite this policy, the Agenda For Bengaluru Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) had decided to construct a motivation hall measuring 1,000 sq mts.

This hall would be the first National Military Memorial, but was contrary to the Section 6(1) of the Karnataka Government Parks (Preservation) Act, 1975, which disallowed any alienation of the park land.

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