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PMs’ Museum likely to miss another deadline

Model of the proposed Museum for all PMs on the premises of the Teen Murti in New Delhi.  

The Prime Ministers’ Museum on the Teen Murti Bhavan premises is likely to miss yet another deadline, this time the “October, 2021” tentative date, for completion given by Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy to Parliament in August, according to officials.

The museum, being constructed next to the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, was approved in March 2018 and would cost ₹271.07 crore, Mr. Reddy had said to a question in the Lok Sabha on August 9. He said it would “showcase the life and contribution made by all Prime Ministers of India”.

Delay due to pandemic

The museum was supposed to open in October 2020 but Culture Ministry officials said the pandemic had contributed to the delay. Two senior officials confirmed that work was pending. They said there was no opening or inauguration date set so far. One official said the project would take at least a couple more months. Repeated requests for comment from a spokesperson of the Ministry were not answered.

According to sources, the museum would open on a date of significance, with one option being the birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, December 25, which has been declared “Good Governance Day” by the Narendra Modi Government. The project may not be complete in time to open on Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary, November 14, a source said.

Among the features of the museum are audio-visual displays on the lives of all Prime Ministers, holograms, projections and interactive content. A souvenir shop was also being developed, for which the NMML had awarded the contract to an agency in July. The tender inviting bids for operating a cafe was floated on October 8, with the last date being October 28.

Prime objective

The tender document said the Central Public Works Department was handling the construction of the 10,000-square metre space. “The prime objective of the museum is to provide the visitors a better understanding of, and create curiosity among them about, the different individuals who have occupied the office of Prime Minister, their individual personalities and contributions as Prime Ministers, as well about the institution of the Prime Minister,” the NMML wrote in the document.

The document said: “The date of opening of the souvenir cafe will be the opening date of the museum.”

The location, the 45-acre Teen Murti Bhavan complex, was the long-time residence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that was converted into a memorial and library after his death in 1964. The Congress had opposed the Government’s plan of creating a museum dedicated to all Prime Ministers past, present and future, terming it a dilution of the legacy of the first Prime Minister.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 9:48:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pms-museum-likely-to-miss-another-deadline/article37150582.ece

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