Gandhi statue to be shifted to temporary spot to make way for Parliament construction

A file photo of the Mahatma Gandhi statue at the Parliament House.  

The seated statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Parliament is set to be shifted to a temporary location to make way for the construction of a new parliament building and would eventually be given a prominent place once the project is completed, government officials said.

The construction of the new parliament building adjacent to the existing heritage structure is scheduled to start in December, according to officials of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Central Public Works Department (CPWD). But before the work starts, the Gandhi statue would have to be moved from its existing location opposite Gate Number 1 of Parliament House, officials said.

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A senior official said the construction site would be walled off and the statue was in the way of the boundary. The site would be sound-proofed as well, to allow Parliament to function during the 22-month construction of the new building, the official said. The eventual location of the statue in the new “legislative enclave” had been decided, the official added.

Another official said the decision on where to relocate the statue temporarily would be taken by the Lok Sabha Speaker and that construction would only start after the statue is moved.

The iconic 16-feet high statue of Gandhi greets visitors to Parliament House and is the site of gatherings, protests and press interactions by MPs.

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“The statue of the Mahatma in a meditating posture, sculpted by Ram Sutar, was unveiled by the then President of India, Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma on October 2, 1993. The statue was donated by the Ministry of Urban Development,” according to the Rajya Sabha website.

As a part of the Centre’s redevelopment of the nearly 3-km-long Central Vista from Rashtrapati Bhavan till India Gate, a triangular parliament building is set to be constructed. The CPWD awarded the construction and maintenance contract to Tata Projects Ltd. for ₹861 crore in September. The redevelopment also includes the construction of 10 new office buildings for the Common Central Secretariat and revamping of Rajpath.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 3:53:01 PM |

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