The wait is over! After decades of delay, National War Memorial will be inaugurated on February 25 this month. After missing the Republic Day deadline last month, the memorial will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25. According to a circular by the Kendriya Sainik Board, several ex-servicemen have also been invited for the event. The Prime Minister will address the meeting at around 4 Pm at the National Stadium. The memorial missed the January 26 deadline due to some pending work, a defence ministry official said.
The initial plan was to inaugurate the National War Memorial on January 25 and hold the wreath-laying ceremony there instead of Amar Jawan Jyoti on the Republic Day.
However, due to some pending work it has been postponed and it is likely to be completed in a month, the official said.
Construction of National War Memorial was a promise made by the BJP during the 2014 polls to honour soldiers who laid down their lives in wars and military operations since India's independence. It is being built at the India Gate C-hexagon with four landscaped concentric circle, including Amar Chakra (Circle of Immortality), Veer Chakra (Circle of Bravery), Tyag Chakra (Circle of Sacrifice) and Rakshak Chakra (Circle of Protection).
The Memorial complex will include a central obelisk, an eternal flame, murals, graphic panels, inscription of names of martyrs, busts of winners of Param Veer Chakra among other features.
The memorial has seen servela political and logistical hurdles. Earlier, then Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had opposed the memorial saying that it would ‘affect the ambience of the area’ and restrict movement of the place, which is a popular hangout zone for residents of Delhi. Dikshit had written to Sushil Kumar Shinde and Kamal Nath demanding an alternative site for the memorial.
In 2014, after Narendra Modi came to power, nod was given for the Rs 400-crore memorial. At that time, there were confusion over the site of the memorial. Arun Jaitley, then Defence Minister, agreed to the proposal made by the Army for building a war memorial at the `Chhatri complex` of India Gate after visiting the national war museum site at the Princes` Park locality near India Gate.