Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday inaugurated the newly-refurbished Kartavya Path and unveiled a statue of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate in New Delhi.
Kartavya Path – a stretch of the Central Vista from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate – was formerly known as Rajpath. On Wednesday, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi announced the name change. She said that the name Rajpath reflected a “colonial mindset” as it conveys the idea of “raj”, or rule.
The revamped road now has new pedestrian underpasses, improved parking spaces, new exhibition panels and upgraded night lighting, a press release from the prime minister’s office said. There will also be lawns with walkways, added green spaces and refurbished canals along the street, the Union government said.
The central public works department has set up five designated zones where 40 vendors each will be allowed, PTI reported. Two blocks have also been set up near the India Gate, where eight shops will be set up.
The prime minister’s office said that the name change “symbolises a shift from erstwhile Rajpath being an icon of power to Kartavya Path being an example of public ownership and empowerment”. In colonial times, Rajpath was known as Kingsway.
Meanwhile, Modi on Thursday unveiled the statue of Bose at the same place near India Gate where a hologram statue of the freedom fighter had been inaugurated on January 23 this year. The statue, carved from a monolithic granite stone, is 28 feet tall and weighs 65 megatonnes. Its main sculptor is Arun Yogiraj, the prime minister’s office said.
“The statue, made of granite, is a fitting tribute to the immense contribution of Netaji to our freedom struggle, and would be a symbol of the country’s indebtedness to him,” a press release said.