Supreme Court clears National Military Memorial in Bangalore

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Bangalore:  The cranes whir noisily, laying the foundation for India's first National Military Memorial.

The location - seven acres next to the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park - has been opposed by Bangalore's environmentalists who asked the Supreme Court to stop the construction. Instead, the court has agreed that the memorial is in public interest.

"We are not against the memorial, we too are patriotic. We are against cutting of trees for the memorial," said Bhanuprakash, the petitioner.

The memorial is scheduled to be inaugurated on December 15 to mark India's victory in the Kargil war and to salute its martyrs. The ten crores being spent on it will deliver an amphi-theatre, an underground museum, a giant stone structure in honour of India's soldiers who have died in service.

After screening various locations in Bangalore, the National Military Memorial Trust, headed by the Karnataka Chief Minister, BS Yeddyurappa, picked this location in 2008.

Those in charge of the memorial reassure the city that they will not compromise the environment.

"Bangalore is green today because of the Army. Look at the cantonment area. All the city's green parks are here. The Army plants trees everywhere it goes. It is a habit with us," states Colonel Sreedhar, a member of the steering committee in charge of the memorial.

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