First national war memorial since Independence to be inaugurated by PM Modi today; top facts

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New Delhi | Updated: February 25, 2019 11:41:11 AM

Ahead of the inauguration, the Prime Minister will be addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen at the National Stadium in the Capital, which is few meters away from the memorial site.

Ahead of the inauguration, the Prime Minister will be addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen at the National Stadium in the Capital, which is few meters away from the memorial site. (IE)

The National War Memorial (NWM) at India Gate to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening is built at India Gate and it is in memory of the war heroes of Indian forces. It has been constructed to honour around 26,000 soldiers who laid down their lives in war and operations since India got independence in 1947.

According to Lt Gen PS Rajeshwar, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff: “The National War Memorial will be the place for the wreath laying for all designated events in future.”

The approval for the construction of NWM was given in Oct 2015 at a cost of Rs 176 crore. A Group of Ministers (GoM) in August 2012 recommended “C” Hexagon of India Gate as the appropriate location for the Memorial. Though a Note for the Cabinet was initiated by the then Ministry of Urban Development in 2012 and was circulated to Ministry of Defence (MoD), Deptt. Of Expenditure (Ministry of Finance), the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Note could not be finalised for Cabinet approval.

Ahead of the inauguration, the Prime Minister will be addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen at the National Stadium in the Capital, which is few meters away from the memorial site.

It is located at India Gate C-Hexagon, will have artificial lighting for evenings and a walking plaza, there will be a 14 lakh litre water storage tank for rainwater harvesting, keeping the area green and cool, and preventing water logging.

It has a layout of four landscaped concentric circles spread over 40 acres. The four circles — Amar Chakra (circle of immortality), Veer Chakra (circle of bravery), Tyag Chakra (circle of sacrifice) and Rakshak Chakra (circle of protection) — will include a 15m tall obelisk with eternal flame, bronze murals, graphic panels, inscription of names of martyrs and busts of 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees.

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What is at India Gate?

The India Gate was built by the British in memory of 84,000 Indian soldiers killed during World War I and the Afghan campaign. The Amar Jawan Jyoti was constructed under the arch of India Gate to honour the 3,843 soldiers who died during the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971.

What is the NWM?

There will be busts of 21 Param Vir Chakras (PVC) in bronze installed on both sides of the walkway

The citations of PVC winners are in both Hindi and English.

There are narratives of individual battles fought by the brave soldiers

A stone mural is in the gallantry gallery called Param Yodha Sthal.

Four concentric circles called Amar, Veerata, Tyag and Suraksha chakras, with the obelisk of the Tyag Chakra containing 25,927 names of martyrs – Army: 25,539; Navy: 239; IAF 164 – since 1947.

Individual tablets of martyrs are listed according to seniority of regiments/squadrons

The tablets are on the granite stone, embedded in sandstone.

A digital system to identify the location of a martyr’s tablet.

The battles depicted in the murals are Gangasagar, Longewala, Tithwal, Rizangla, and Operations Meghdoot and Trident.

It will also commemorate the soldiers who participated and made supreme sacrifice in UN Peace Keeping Missions, during HADR Operations, Counter Insurgency Operations and Low-Intensity Capital Operation (LICO).

An underground water harvesting system of 14 lakh litre capacity to keep the sandstone structures cool and green.

The complex is partly subterranean

According to rules, the architecture should not disturb nearby vistas.

22 trees were removed to develop the area for which 715 trees were planted.

NWM project has been constructed at a cost of Rs 176 crore

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