Cabinet clears Rs. 500 crore for National War Memorial

The Centre on Wednesday cleared the National War Memorial and National War Museum to be constructed at the India Gate circle in the national capital.

The proposal, to build the country’s first national memorial for soldiers who laid down their lives in post Independence, has been pending since the 1960s.

“The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today approved the construction of a National War Memorial and a National War Museum at Princess Park, near India Gate, New Delhi in memory of all Indian soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice for the country post-independence,” an official statement said.

The project, estimated to cost around Rs. 500 crore, would be completed in five years, it said.

According to official estimates, more than 22,500 soldiers have made the sacrifice in national interests and in defence of the sovereignty and integrity of the country since 1947. While a significant number of them have died in battles fought with Pakistan and China, majority have actually died in anti-insurgency operations in the Northeast and Kashmir.

“Even after 69 years of Independence, no memorial to commemorate the martyrs has been constructed till date. With the present decision of the Cabinet a long pending demand of the Armed Forces has been redressed,” the government said.

The decision also comes in the face of the Modi government’s diminishing popularity among military fraternity, especially because of its inability to deliver the OROP (one rank one pension) in full.

The government said the project will be monitored by an empowered steering committee chaired by defence secretary and assisted by a dedicated project management team, “to ensure that the proposed project is completed within scheduled time frame.” Post commissioning, a management body will be formed for maintenance of the National War Memorial and Museum, it said.

As the proposal picked pace several years ago during the UPA government regime, Charles Corrrea, the renowned architect, who passed away in June 2015, designed the memorial around the India Gate. Officials said there is no plan to change the design.

“This government will be establishing a War Memorial and a Museum with a deep sense of gratitude to honour those brave soldiers, who laid down their lives. The memorial will promote a sense of patriotism in the minds of visitors, and will award an opportunity to citizens of this vast nation, to express their token sense of gratitude to the brave soldiers, who laid down their lives for the mother land,” the government statement after the cabinet meeting said.

It said the museum will capture the “poignant moments in history” (of their sacrifice) and bring out the variegated nature of their commitments. “Their dedication, this government feels is a part of unfinished work in nation building. This Government resolves with all its humility at its command that they did not die in vain and that Bharat Mata is enriched by their contribution,” the government statement said.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 10:56:08 PM |

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