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SC notice to Karnataka on underground war memorial

Last Updated: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 20:26

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday sought
Karnataka government`s response to a petition challenging the
construction of an underground war memorial below the Indira
Gandhi Musical Fountain Park in the heart of Bangalore city.

A bench of Justices R M Lodha and A K Patnaik issued a
notice to the state government on the appeal filed by the
Krishna Apartment Owners Welfare Association against the
judgement passed by Karnataka High Court which had upheld the
state`s decision.

The association submitted that construction of the war
memorial in the form of an auditorium over a six-acre land was
violative of the Karnataka Government Parks (Preservation)
Act, 1975, which prohibits any form of construction or change
of land use in government parks.

It was stated that by operation of the statutory and
mandatory provisions of the 1975 Act, even the state
government had no power to make or permit any construction at
the site.

According to the residents, the park constituted a
prominent lung space for hundreds of residents in and around
the place and construction of the memorial would adversely
affect their interests.

They submitted that at the instance of the Member of
Parliament Rajiv Chandrashekar, the state government decided
to construct the memorial with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa
as chairman of the committee to oversee the construction
despite objections from the local people.

The Karnataka High Court had dismissed the residents’ plea
on the ground that since the Chief Minister himself was
heading the committee, it did not leave room for any suspicion
about the intention of the government as it was being done for
a public purpose.

According to the residents, the High Court had ignored
various objections raised by them and also the affidavit
submitted by the retired Chief Conservator of Forests who had
opined that even an underground memorial would cause damage to
the park.

PTI

First Published: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 20:26

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