From ‘Symbol of Slavery’ to ‘Path of Duty’, PM Modi Says a New Era Has Begun At Kartavya Path Inauguration

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday unveiled a 28-feet tall statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate and also inaugurated the newly-christened Kartavya Path, the stretch of road from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate earlier known as Rajpath. Addressing a gathering at the mega event in the national capital, he said a new era has begun as the “symbol of colonialism ‘Kingsway’ (Rajpath) has been erased forever”.

The Prime Minister called the installation of Netaji’s statue, which is part of the Centre’s Rs 13,450-crore Central Vista project, a “new path for an empowered India”.

At the inauguration ceremony, the PM said, “Symbol of colonialism ‘Kingsway’ will be a history and has been erased forever. A new era has begun in the form of Kartavya Path. 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. I congratulate all the people of the country as we come out from another symbol of colonialism.”

The Prime Minister also interacted with the Shramjeevis, who have worked for the redeveloped Central Vista, and invited them as a special guest for the January 26 Republic Day parade.

Remembering the contributions made by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose for the country, PM Modi said, “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 the installation of the statue of Netaji, we have established a new path for an empowered India. In the last eight 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.”

The black granite statue, which is part of the Central Vista project, has been carved from a monolithic block of granite weighing 280 metric tonnes. The block of granite picked for the statue was transported to Delhi from Telangana and the statue was carved out of it in over two months.

Meanwhile, the new Kartavya Path 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. According to the Union housing and urban affairs ministry, 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-led 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 inputs from PTI)

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