New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday unveiled a 28-ft statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the India Gate in Delhi. He also inaugurated the newly-christened Kartavya Path – a stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
Inaugurating the Kartavyapath, the Prime Minister said, “Symbol of colonialism ‘Kingsway’ will be a history and has been erased forever. A new era has begun in the form of Kartavyapath. I congratulate all the people of the country as we come out from another symbol of colonialism.”
PM Modi remembered Netaji and his contribution to the nation saying, “In the last 8 years, we have taken several decisions which had the imprint of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. He was the first head of ‘Akhand Bharat’ who unfurled the national flag in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.”
“Today a huge statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has been installed near the India Gate. During British rule, a statue of a representative of the Britishers stood here. With installation of statue of Netaji, we’ve established a new path for an empowered India,” he said.
Hailing measures taken to change old colonial laws in the country, PM Modi said, “Today, the country has changed various laws that were there since the time of the British. Through the National Education Policy, now the youth of the country are being liberated from the compulsion of foreign language.”
“Rajpath was for the British for whom the people of India were slaves. It was a symbol of colonialism. Now, its architecture has changed, and its spirit has also changed,” said PM Modi.
The Prime Minister also announced that those “shramjeevi” who have worked for the redevelopment of Central Vista will be his special guest on January 26.
The black granite statue has been carved from a monolithic block of granite weighing 280 MT, the Culture Ministry said in a statement. A team of sculptors spent 26,000 man-hours of “intense artistic endeavour” to carve a grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
A 100-ft-long truck with 140 wheels was specially designed for this giant granite stone to travel 1,665 km from Khammam in Telangana to New Delhi, it said.
Earlier known as Rajpath, the stretch of road from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate has been christened Kartavya Path. According to the Union housing and urban affairs ministry, the new stretch will be more pedestrian-friendly because of the new red granite walkways spreading 15.5 km that have been created, replacing bajri sand that lined the ground earlier.
Four new pedestrian underpasses have been built at busy junctions to segregate vehicular traffic from pedestrian movement, making the street safe to cross.
According to an official, 74 historic light poles and all chain links have been restored, upgraded and reinstalled on the site and more than 900 new light poles have been added where necessary to ensure that the space is always safe for visitors.
The revamped stretch is part of the Modi government’s ambitious Central Vista redevelopment project, which also envisages a new triangular Parliament building, a common central secretariat, a new prime minister’s residence and office, and a new vice-president’s enclave.
(With PTI inputs)