The Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today described as “historic” the Centre’s decision to hand over 12.5 acres of Indu Mill land for a modern memorial to Dr B. R. Ambedkar.

The State Government would bear the entire cost of the memorial project, Chavan told presspersons here.

“This is a historic decision announced in Parliament. This will be an inspiration for the movement for equality and social justice,” he said.

“A separate authority will be set up for the purpose and an architect will be appointed as consultant to prepare the blueprint for the memorial,” he said.

The authority will comprise seven members, including three from the State Government and the rest from the Centre, he said.

However, he refused to divulge details of the project expenditure.

The memorial will be modelled on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘samadhi’ at Rajghat, he said.

“Several laws had to be amended for the land transfer so that there were no legal hurdles,” he said.

The Maharashtra Government will henceforth take care of the land. The Union Cabinet will take a decision on the process further, the Chief Minister said.

A Bill will have to be passed in Parliament for transfer of the land for the memorial project.

Ambedkar was a national icon who helped instil democracy in the country, Chavan added.

Union Textiles Minister Anand Sharma today announced in Parliament that, “The Government of India has taken a view to make available this (Indu Mill) land for use to the Government of Maharashtra for the construction of a befitting memorial.”

(This article was published on December 5, 2012)
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