New Delhi: The long-delayed national War Memorial for Indian soldiers, first proposed in the 60s, has been cleared by a group of ministers handled to manage the project. It will be constructed next to the India Gate in New Delhi, a location preferred by the armed forces.
Defence Minister AK Antony told reporters today, "Most hurdles for the construction of War Memorial has been cleared." While the armed forces wanted the war memorial to be built at India Gate at the centre of the capital, the Urban Development Ministry and other bodies like the New Delhi Municipal Corporation had objected, saying that the construction would mar the landscape that includes Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Indian Parliament. Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy was among the group of ministers who were appointed in 2009 to resolve differences of opinion. They have agreed that the layout of the memorial will be organic to the India Gate vista; it will surround the main canopy or chhattri at India Gate, and will list the names of thousands of soldiers who died in the line of duty.
The Union Cabinet is expected to formally approve the construction in the next few weeks.
India Gate and the eternal flame there, the Amar Jawan Jyoti, which remembers the unknown solider, was built by the British in honour of Indians who died during World War 1. Since its independence, India has gone through five wars; soldiers have died in counter-insurgency operations, too. But there has been no memorial built in their honour.
Armed forces will now consult design experts to finalise the design.