October is the new deadline for completing military memorial

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KARGILBangalore, July 29;Even though the National Military Memorial (NMM), dedicated to the soldiers who laid down their lives for the nation, missed several deadlines when it was not ready by the 14th Kargil Vijay Diwas on Friday, the State government assured the Legislative Council recently that the memorial will be ready by October this year.

Executed by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the memorial is coming up on 7.5 acres of land adjacent to the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park near the Raj Bhavan.

Home Minister K.G. George told the Legislative Council that all works pertaining to the NMM, being built at a cost of Rs. 25.83 crore, have been completed except for the installation of the 60-foot monolithic stone pillar, also called ‘Veeragallu’, on which the names of the soldiers will be engraved.

The work order for transportation and installation of the Veeragallu at the NMM site was given on March 13, 2013, he said and said the work on the project will be completed by October 19, 2013.

“Work on transporting and installing the statue is under progress,” he said.

Mr. George said the carving work on the Veeragallu is estimated to cost Rs. 94.09 lakh, while the cost of transportation and installation will add up to Rs. 5.46 crore.

Sources in the National Military Memorial Committee, headed by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP, said the 450-tonne monolithic stone pillar is to be brought from a village in Devanahalli to the National Military Memorial site.

The unique aspect of the memorial is that the names of all the 15,000 plus soldiers will be etched on the stone that will be erected at the memorial.

Besides, about four busts of war heroes from Karnataka, including Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa and Maj. Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who was killed in the terror attack in Mumbai in 2008, will be erected.

The delay in the execution of the project had Mr. Chandrashekar shoot a letter in December 2011 to then Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda expressing concern over the undue delay in completing the project, the foundation for which had been laid on February 11, 2009, by the then Governor Ramesh Thakur and the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

“The work on this projectwas to be completed in November 2011, but has been delayed due to slow pace of work. Inadequate work forces on the ground and non-payment of dues to contractors have been cited as reasons for the delay in construction,” Mr. Chandrashekar had said in the letter.

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