Delhi: Non availability of VVIP stalls GTB Memorial opening

first_imgBelieve it or not, most of us are oblivious to the existence of a posh socio-cultural hub in the Capital.Almost two years after it was constructed – the Guru Teg Bahadur GTB) Memorial at Singhu Border, a village situated near National Highway No. 1 – is yet to be inaugurated and thrown open the public. The reason: the Delhi government has not found a VVIP to inaugurate the memorial.The state government’s Rs 25- croretourism initiative – with a state- ofthe- art amphitheatre, lush green lawns, a conference hall and a cafeteria – was dedicated to the Sikh guru. It was meant to be a tourist and socio- cultural hub. However, since late 2009, when the memorial was complete and ready for the inauguration, several ” tentative” inauguration dates have been cancelled.According to sources, it is because the VVIPs, deemed “suitable” inaugurating the architectural marvel, haven’t been available to do so.There are rumours, though, that the government might be warming up to the idea of inaugurating it soon. Officially, the Delhi government and the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) officers have denied it but sources said the VVIPs being sought for inaugurating the project are none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Congress scion Rahul Gandhi.Incidentally, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for the memorial and the government brass reportedly wants person of a “similar stature” to inaugurate the project.Vijender Gupta, president of the BJP’s Delhi unit, described the delayed inauguration as “the biggest disrespect for the memorial built for such a revered figure”. His views were echoed by V. K. Malhotra, senior BJP leader and leader of the opposition in the Delhi assembly, who called for “immediate inauguration and advertisement of the project”. A government official involved with the project said it was completed in 2009. However, DTTDC’s chief engineer Jose Kurien said it was completed only in 2010.advertisementAs far as its inauguration is concerned, it is up to the government but the site is open to the public.According to my knowledge, it was only completed in 2010 – once the lights were placed. It is a well- conceived project and, in future, we have plans to advertise it to the people of Delhi,” he said.The Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, on the other hand, rubbished the suggestions that the inauguration had been delayed because of the unavailability of dates from the PM or other VVIPs.We haven’t approached or written to anyone, including the PM, for the inauguration yet,” Dikshit said. She also said she wasn’t entirely satisfied with some things at the memorial and wanted to wait till they were improved. “I want the from Once concerns immediately advertise The by the maintenance want them improved, especially lighting, which is important from the tourists’ point of view.Once that is done and my other concerns are addressed, we will immediately inaugurate and advertise it,” Dikshit added.The memorial was constructed the DTTDC, also its maintenance agency. It has reportedly spent approximately ` 1 crore in a year over its maintenance. This, despite the fact that there are not more than 12-20 visitors a day and a few more during the weekends.”As it hasn’t yet been inaugurated and there has been no publicity about its existence – often, the only people who come here are the interstate travellers coming core granite stone around different these stones inscribed Hindi, A “It has to Delhi from Haryana,” a security guard said.The memorial, lit up with bright LED lights in the evening, attracts most of the few visitors.Inside the memorial, there is a m-high central pylon – representative of the GTB’s made of stainless steel and around it are three 15- m Cshaped arcs. These arcs symbolically represent the three disciples Guru Teg Bahadur.At the outer periphery of the core memorial are 10 huge granite stone monoliths of a height around 10- 18 m, representing 10 different Sikh gurus. Each of these beautifully carved out red stones has tenets of Gurubani inscribed on them in English, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi.senior DTTDC official said: has an amphitheatre to host around 400 people and hold meetings, and a huge cafeteria space. We also have an inbuilt parking lot on this 11.87-acre facility. We have no doubt it can become a huge socio-cultural hit once it is inaugurated.” Another DTTDC official said the memorial would be a multipurpose facility and a match to some of the bigger, well-known cultural centres in the Capital such as the India Habitat Centre and the India International Centre.advertisementWhen Mail Today visited the memorial on Friday afternoon, the place was clean and the lawns well maintained, but there were no visitors.Only the security and maintenance staff were present.Sources said the issue of inaugurating the project had come up several times in the past one year, but without any success.We have not approached or written to anyone, including the Prime Minister, for the inauguration yet -Sheila Dikshit, Delhi CM ‘THEY HAD TO WAIT TOO- The Palam flyover on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway – ready by December 2007 – was inaugurated only in January 2008. A Palam Resident Welfare Associationgroup shouted slogans on the expressway. They had placed a ribbon across the Palam flyover and cut it themselves. It was later officially inaugurated by the road transport and highways minister T. R. Baalu and Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda.- The Badarpur-Faridabad flyover, scheduled for a trial run on October 5, 2010, courted controversy with Haryana BJP chief Krishenpal Gujjar forcibly inaugurating it. But officials informed the police and barricades were put up on the flyover. It was officially inaugurated by Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit and Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda in November 2010.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img

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