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Country’s first military war memorial is now closer to completion

The country’s first military war memorial to honour war veterans and their families will finally be completed next month. Meant to be ready in January 2011, the final touches to the unique monolithic statue are now being given at a quarry at Koira village in Devanahalli taluk.

Published: 15th January 2018 02:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th January 2018 07:03 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The country’s first military war memorial to honour war veterans and their families will finally be completed next month. Meant to be ready in January 2011, the final touches to the unique monolithic statue are now being given at a quarry at Koira village in Devanahalli taluk.

In its incomplete state, the Bengaluru National Military Memorial (NMM) project, located adjacent to the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain on 7 acres and 22.5 guntas of land was largely used by the public to walk and relax.

“The final bit of carving the granite stone -- Veeragallu (Brave Stone) -- meant to be the cynosure of all eyes by conveying the valour of the soldiers, is being carried out now,” said a top BDA official. The 79-feet statue weighs 440 tonnes and had been tendered to sculptor Ashok Gudigar for Rs 94.09 lakh.

The original cost of the Bengaluru National War Memorial project was Rs 12.93 crore. It later shot up to Rs 18.94 crore and has touched Rs 26 crore now. With no background in executing such a specialised project, the lack of experience and expertise in this niche area for BDA engineers ensured major hiccups and delays in its completion. The Rs 26 crore to be invested also posed an unnecessary burden.

Rains flooding the quarry for two years where the single-block stone was being readied, local residents filing a writ petition in court against felling of trees to put up the statue and many extra works added by the subcommittee created by the government for the memorial also contributed to the delay. Asked about the project, BDA Commissioner Rakesh Singh said, “We are providing an excellent lung space in the city to honour our brave soldiers.”

Present status

The Veeragallu will be a four-sided monument. Carving on the three faces of the statue has been completed. “We have now upturned the statue and the base is being carved now. It will get completed within 15 days and we are giving ourselves another fortnight for transportation purposes,” a senior official said. “The statue should not suffer any shocks during transport. So, they will bring experienced drivers and skilled professionals to lift the statue onto the vehicle and then transport it,” an official explained.

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