Chandigarh, July 3 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday granted in-principle approval for the establishment of an India International Centre (IIC) at the existing site of the Beant Singh memorial and the Chandigarh Centre for Performing and Visual Arts here.
Amarinder said his government and the family of former Chief Minister Beant Singh, who was killed in a car bombing in 1995, had no objection to the proposed centre as long as the sanctity of the memorial was maintained at all costs.
The proposed centre, to be developed on the lines of Delhi’s IIC, will be christened as Sardar Beant Singh India International Centre.
The cost of the project would be equally shared by the Punjab government and the Chandigarh administration. Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore is also the Administrator of Chandigarh.
The decision was taken during a meeting of the Beant Singh Memorial Society and the Chandigarh Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, which the Governor and the Chief Minister attended along with other representatives from both Punjab and Chandigarh.
The Governor suggested the proposed centre would be independent of the government and administration of both Punjab and Chandigarh, and said that a membership drive would soon be started for it.
The Chandigarh India International Centre, proposed to be developed adjacent to the Beant Singh memorial, will encompass the media centre, whose structure is ready, and the existing library and the conference halls.
The media centre building will also be renamed and will house a restaurant and cafeteria besides a convention centre, as part of the proposed memorial-cum-international centre.
The decision to set up a live memorial was taken way back in 1996, just months after the assassination of Beant Singh. It was decided then to develop a memorial for the late leader, while adhering to the policy of the city’s famed architect Le Corbusier of not installing any statues of important personalities in public areas of Chandigarh.
An amount of Rs 18.55 crore has been spent on the first phase of the project so far.
The contribution of Punjab has been about Rs eight crore, while the Chandigarh administration has made a total contribution of Rs 12.69 crore for the project.