The Centre overturned a decision of the UPA II government and approved the building of a National War Memorial and Museum in the capital’s India Gate complex.
The India Gate, where ceremonial rites are now performed in honour of fallen soldiers, is a memorial erected by the British in colonial times in memory of soldiers killed in World War I (1914-1918), reports The Telegraph.
The National War Memorial that was today approved by the cabinet will be dedicated to soldiers killed in the line of duty – in wars and in counter-insurgency – since Independence.
The estimated cost of the project will be around Rs 500 crore. The cabinet has decided the project should be completed in five years. A foreign consultant is likely to be engaged for the design of the memorial and the museum.
“Post-Independence, more than 22,500 soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice in national interest and in defence of the sovereignty and integrity of the country. However, 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,” a government press note stated.
A committee headed by the defence secretary will monitor the project. After completion, a management body will be formed for its maintenance.