NEW DELHI :The Central Vista Avenue, one of Delhi’s most inclusive public spaces, will be thrown open to the public after a gap of 19 months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Avenue, which includes newly christened Kartavya Path, adjoining area and India Gate, on Thursday evening at a mega event.
The PM will also unveil the 28-foot-long statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that is installed under the canopy at India Gate where once a statue of King George V stood, before it was shifted to the Coronation Park in Delhi in 1968.
The inauguration ceremony will begin at 7pm and will be attended by 1, 500 guests followed by a cultural event, including a drone show on Netaji’s life, for the public.
According to a senior ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) official, “The cultural event will continue over the weekend between 7pm and 9pm. A large portion of Kartavya Path between Mansingh Road and Rafi Marg will be thrown open to the public after the inauguration on Thursday. During the construction work, the India gate area was barricaded. But now it will be open to the public from September 9 afternoon or evening.”
The move to rename Rajpath as Kartavya path “symbolises a shift from erstwhile Rajpath being an icon of power to Kartavya Path being an example of public ownership and empowerment”, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“The move to rename Rajpath and adjoining areas as Kartavya Path is in line with PM’s ‘Panch Pran’ for new India in Amrit Kaal: ‘remove any trace of colonial mindset’, ” PMO said.
The redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue, a part of the BJP-led NDA government’s ambitious Rs13, 500 crore Central Vista redevelopment project, is the first of the five tendered projects to be completed. The work on the Rs608-crore redevelopment project started last year in February and was to be completed by December, but the project missed several deadlines.
As part of the redevelopment project, the avenue lawns have been refurbished and pathways along Rajpath and across the lawns have been paved with Lakha granite. The heritage light poles along Rajpath have been refurbished, and new light poles near the lawns and canals have been installed. New signages have also been put in place for better directions. Four pedestrian underpasses at C-Hexagon and Janpath have been constructed to provide hassle-free connectivity between the lawns along Kartavya Path and India Gate.
To ensure there is no or little damage caused to the lawns during the Republic Day parade arrangements, the ministry has decided that in the next two years it will be done in a modular mode. For this, some permanent arrangements have been made on the ground. “Due to movement of heavy vehicles and the temporary structures that were erected for the parade, the lawns used to get damaged. We have paved the areas where the stage was erected for sitting. We have taken measures to ensure minimum disturbance at lawns while making arrangements for the parade. Currently, it takes 2-3 months to make the arrangements. With the new system, we will take just a few days to do all the arrangements, ” said a senior MoHUA official.