Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal paid tribute to freedom fighters by laying flowers at the martyr's pillar at the Terraced Garden in Sector 33 on Saturday.
He paid homage to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, and the martyrs from among the defence personnel, who belonged to Chandigarh.
The city had not done much for the martyrs in the past, said Bansal, during his visit to the Terraced Garden martyr's pillar. He underscored that this year's railway budget had made provisions that parents of martyrs, who were posthumously awarded, could travel free in trains. He also added that the period for renewal of travel concession cards for gallantry awardees would be three years. Earlier it was annual.
Bansal said the department wanted that ex-servicemen and families getting concessional cards were not made to go to the railway station on every renewal, but only when the card had to be made.
Mayor Subhash Chawla and other officers also laid wreaths at the Martyr's Pillar. Families of those martyrs, whose names are engraved on the pillar, were honoured, along with war widows.
Bansal said that more memorials would be constructed for imbibing the spirit of patriotism in the youth. He said, "It is our moral responsibility to give priority to the well-being of martyrs' families." Nominated councillor Maj D S Sandhu said that names of 33 martyrs belonging to Chandigarh were engraved on the pillar.
Former mayors Pardeep Chhabra and Rajbala Malik, and councillor Mukesh Bassi were also present on the occasion.