VVIPs to now have common memorial place



New Delhi: There will be no separate samadhis for VVIPs in Delhi as the government on Thursday decided to have a common complex for memorials of departed national leaders like presidents, vice presidents and prime ministers.

The Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to set up 'Rashtriya Smriti' along the Yamuna river in central Delhi in view of the paucity of space as around 245 acres of prime land in the national capital has already been occupied by separate samadhis of former leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

"Rashtriya Smriti" near the Ekta Sthal, the samadhi of former president Giani Zail Singh, has now been earmarked for performing last rites of departed national leaders in future and for setting up their memorials, besides space for public gatherings.

In the past, separate memorials for departed national leaders were created near Rajghat which covered a large space.

The proposal for common memorial ground had first been mooted in 2000 but it was pending. "Henceforth, Government shall not develop any Samadhi for departed leaders," the proposal had said.

The VVIP memorials of nation's political leaders occupy around 245 acres of prime land along the banks of Yamuna.

Raj Ghat, built in memory of Mahatma Gandhi, measures 44.35 acres on the western bank of the Yamuna in Delhi. The memorial is a simple square stone platform in black marble.

Shanti Van - the Garden of Peace -- is the samadhi of India's first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru occupying 52.6 acres. It has a large plinth covered with a lawn.

PTI