No proposal to install Mahatma’s statue at India Gate: Centre

Last Updated: Sunday, November 29, 2009 - 13:11

New Delhi: The Centre has no proposal to
install a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the canopy at the
historic India Gate in the national capital.

Sources in the Urban Development Ministry said that it
has no proposal "pending" for the installation of the statue
after a controversy broke out in 1995 which led the Delhi High
Court to put a stay on altering the canopy and the original
architecture of the war memorial in Lutyen`s Delhi.

The area falls under the geographical limits of New
Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) but the Urban Development
Ministry has an overriding say on matters pertaining to
architecture as the Delhi Urban Arts Commission is directly
under it.

In a meeting of the Union Cabinet held on July 29, 1992
a decision was taken to install a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at
India Gate leaving the exact location to be decided by the
Minister of Urban Development.

As a controversy broke out on changing the original
architecture plan of India Gate after the decision, a Group of
Ministers considered the matter at the direction of the Union
Cabinet.

The GoM recommended that the statue of the Father of
Nation be installed at the present site of the canopy of India
Gate.

The canopy had a marble statue of King George V, which
was removed after Independence and kept at the Coronation
Ground in north Delhi. Ever since the statue of the British
king, installed in the year 1936, was removed, the canopy is
vacant without any statue.

The matter subsequently reached the Delhi High Court
which passed an order on July 26, 1995 restraining the
Government from altering, removing or demolishing the canopy
at India Gate complex, designed by Edwin Lutyens and built in
1936.

The High Court finally disposed off the matter on
March 9, 2005 in terms of its earlier order.

Sources, however, said that after the matter was
disposed off by the High Court, the ministry did not get any
new proposal to install the statue and therefore the order of
the High Court was not challenged in the Supreme Court.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, November 29, 2009 - 13:11

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