India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the ‘Kartavya Path’ with its elegant red granite walkways, refurbished canals, state-wise food stalls, new amenity blocks, and vending kiosks on Thursday, September 8th, 2002 at the heart of India’s capitol, New Delhi.
As per the federal government, the refurbished Path, a stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, symbolizes a shift from erstwhile Rajpath being an icon of power to Kartavya Path being an example of public ownership and empowerment.
Modi also unveiled the 28-ft Netaji Bose statue, who single handedly led an Indian Army, fighting the British Empire much before India gained its freedom from the colonial rule. Netaji Subhash was the first ‘Pradhan’ of ‘Akhand Bharat’ who liberated Andaman even before 1947, the Prime Minister added.
The Culture Ministry informed that a team of sculptors spent 26,000 man-hours of “intense artistic endeavour” to carve a grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be installed in the same place where a hologram statue of Netaji was unveiled earlier this year on Parakram Diwas by PM Modi to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji.
“Netaji’s statue will be replacing King George V’s statue, it is of great symbolic value that India has moved to place one of important leaders of freedom struggle at such place where once colonial powers once rested,” said Anita Bose Pfaff, daughter of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
An exhibition that he inaugurated showcases the before-and-after visuals of the Central Vista Avenue, which will be home to the new Parliament Building in India’s capital. The entire stretch has been revamped under the Modi government’s ambitious Central Vista redevelopment project. The revamped Rajpath and Central Vista lawns in the heart of Delhi will be open to the public soon.
Officials in the Ministry of Urban Affairs said that 74 historic light poles, and all chain links have been restored, upgraded, and reinstalled on site. More than 900 new light poles have been added where necessary to ensure that the space is always safe for visitors.
Similarly, concrete bollards have been replaced with 1000+ white sandstone bollards to maintain the precinct’s historical character and pedestrian sidewalks along the Rajpath have been paved with robust and durable materials.
Besides, 16.5 km of pedestrian walkways have been added along the Rajpath, across the lawns, along and across the canals, and at the India Gate Precinct,
The redevelopment project of the Central Vista — the nation’s power corridor — also envisages a new triangular Parliament building, a common central secretariat, a new residence of the prime minister, a prime minister’s office, and a new vice-president’s enclave.
Rajpath was formerly known as Kingsway. It is the celebrated venue of the Republic Day parade every year and stretches through Vijay Chowk to India Gate.
The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), an executing agency of the project, has set up five vending zones where 40 vendors each will be allowed and according to the plan, they will not be allowed to sell their items to visitors in the garden area. A senior official told PTI there would be two blocks near the India Gate and each block has eight shops, adding that some states have shown their interest to set up their food stalls.
But people would miss only one thing — food will not be allowed on the lawns from India Gate to Man Singh Road. The stretch will open for the public after 20 months. On the day of the inauguration, visitors will not be allowed on the stretch from the India Gate to Man Singh Road, but they can use the remaining part.
“In last years 8 years, we have taken so many decisions one after the other on the ideals and dreams of Netaji,” Prime Minister Modi said. “On this occasion, I would like to express special gratitude to those workers who have not only made the path of duty but have also shown the country the Kartavya Path,” the Prime Minister said.
In his speech, 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.”
“Symbol of colonialism ‘Kingsway’ will be a history and has been erased forever. A new era has begun in the form of Kartvyapath. I congratulate all the people of the country as we come out from another symbol of colonialism,” he said.