The construction work on a memorial for former president APJ Abdul Kalam at his home town Rameswaram is slated to begin with the Tamil Nadu government allotting land as sought by the Centre.
Kalam’s grand nephew, Sheik Salim, said the construction materials have reached the site and thanked the Central and state governments for taking up the initiative.
A state government release said 1.30 acre land had been allotted for the memorial and the Central public works department has taken steps to fence it. “The Central public works department has set up fence in the place were the State government has allocated the land,” the release said. The announcement about allotment of land and commencement of the construction work came days after media reports stated that the place where the memorial of the former President was proposed to be built was lying neglected.
Kalam passed away on July 27 in Shillong and was laid to rest at Pei Karumbu in Rameswaram. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced on October 15, the birth anniversary of Kalam, that a memorial would be built for the late ‘Missile Man’ and had requested Tamil Nadu government to allocate land for the purpose.
Salim said the construction materials had already reached the site and the DRDO and the defence ministry are engaged in the construction work. “They have told me that construction work will begin tomorrow and the fencing work will be completed in 15 days”, he told PTI.
Commenting on the signature campaign taken up by various civil society members to drum up support for expediting the construction work, Kalam’s grand nephew said “there is no need for such a campaign now.”
Tamil Nadu government, commemorating Kalam’s birthday, announced that October 15 would be observed as “Youth Renaissance Day” every year. A ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award’ was also instituted by the state government commemorating his birth anniversary and ISRO scientist P Valarmathi was its first recipient.