After putting a ban on converting government bungalows into memorials last year, the NDA government has now allowed a concession to trusts that want to set up a memorial for departed national leaders.
The Union urban development (UD) ministry has decided to give one-time grants-in-aid of up to Rs 25 lakh to trusts or societies set up in memory of departed president, vice-president, prime minister, deputy prime minister or any other leader approved by the cabinet for developing a memorial anywhere in India, including Delhi.
However, only those trusts would be eligible for the grant who have procured land for developing the memorial and the location of the memorial has been approved by the UD ministry. “UD minister M Venkaiah Naidu has recently approved the guidelines,” said a senior Central Public Works Department (CPWD) official.
A four-member committee headed by UD secretary would examine proposals and decide those eligible for one-time grant on a case-to-case basis.
The ministry will also not foot the bill for organising birth or death anniversaries for the departed leaders at the memorials. The trusts/societies would have to bear the cost. The maintenance of the memorials would also be the responsibility of the trust.
Also, to avoid duplication, the government will not display a plaque at the Rashtriya Samiti, the common memorial site that has been set up in the Capital to honour the memory of departed national leaders, if a memorial has been developed by a trust anywhere in India.
“Because of shortage of space in the Capital, it was decided to set up a common memorial site. It was inaugurated last year by placing a plaque in the memory of former PM PV Narasimha Rao,” another CPWD official said.
The Modi cabinet had, last October, imposed a ban on converting government bungalows into memorials, reiterating the decision taken by the then NDA government in 2000. But when the UPA came to power, it ignored the decision and allowed the conversion of 6, Krishna Menon Marg bungalow into a memorial for Babu Jagjivan Ram.