Justice N Santosh Hegde has expressed his concern over the delay in the completion of the National Military Memorial (NMM) in the city.
In his letter to chief minister H D Kumaraswamy dated January 22, he reminded the chief minister that even though it was decided to build the memorial in 2008, the project is yet to be completed, and is waiting for the transportation and housing of Veeragallu.
The Veeragallu is said to mark the memorial. It is the 80-feet-tall hero stone, weighing around 500 tonnes, with the names of over 22,600 martyrs etched on it.
“I am afraid that by this delay, we are sending a wrong message to the nation that we Kannadigas do not have any will or interest in honouring those brave hearts who so encouragingly laid down their lives for our freedom. I am told that it is only because of non-transportation of Veeragallu the project is lying idle causing bitter embarrassment to people in the city,” the letter, a copy of which is with DH, stated.
Speaking to DH, Justice Hegde said as a retired officer, this was his first letter to the chief minister as he understands the problem. When other taller statues could be transported from one place to another, there should not be any problem with moving the Veeragallu, he added.
He said he wrote the letter because he cares for the soldiers and wants Karnataka to set precedence, and added that he is yet to get a reply from the chief minister or from his office.
However, this is not the first letter to the chief minister on the memorial.
Last year, Faujikids, an association formed by the children of the Indian Army, had also written a letter to the then chief minister on the issue. Retd defence personnel have also repeatedly requested the government to complete the project.
Citizens in the past have also expressed concern to the government and to Bangalore Development Authority over the improper management of the NMM.