Netaji memorial in limbo as urban development ministry develops cold feet

  • Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 22, 2015 23:55 IST

The urban development (UD) ministry has developed cold feet on a plan to take back a portion of land allotted to Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) that runs out of a sprawling 24-acre plot along Rajpath, for setting up a memorial for Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

The UD ministry, which till recently was mulling over the proposal received from the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose INA Trust, now wants the culture ministry, under which IGNCA comes to take the political call. The private trust headed by former Lok Sabha speaker and Meghalaya MP PA Sangma.

The trust had asked for about six acre land for building the memorial and was initially offered a plot in DDU Marg. But they rejected it and told the ministry that they were looking for a more prominent place, something closer to Rajpath. At one of the many meetings, it was suggested that the ministry explore the possibility of carving out space for the memorial from the INGCA campus.

Located at Man Singh Road, IGNCA is an autonomous body under the culture ministry which was allotted the land in 1996.

“Why should so many plots in the most prominent localities of Delhi be those linked to memorials or trust belonging to the Nehru-Gandhi family,” it was pointed out in one of the meeting.

Brigadier (retired) RS Chikara, executive vice chairman of the Netaji Trust confirmed that they have approached the UD ministry. “We have been making request for land to respective governments since 2000 but nobody did anything. We are now pursuing the matter with the present government which is considering the matter,” Chikara told HT.

Sources said the UD ministry decided to put the ball in the culture ministry’s court as it wanted to avoid any unnecessary controversy. “The land belongs to culture ministry, so they will have to take a call,” said a source.

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