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


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

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