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Kartavya Path’s new name & look inspires feelings of ‘Indianness’, say visitors after inauguration

Hundreds were present at the heart of the national capital Thursday for the grand event which saw cultural performances from over 20 teams of artistes from across states.

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New Delhi: The newly inaugurated Kartavya Path was resplendent with light and colours as the country’s leadership and hundreds of people descended at the heart of the national capital for the grand event Thursday evening.

The 3km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate is flanked by green landscape with new amenity blocks, an amphitheatre for open air performances, low-level bridges over refurbished canals, improved public amenities among others.

The new look Kartavya Path, which remained closed for 20 months for the revamp, is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Central Vista Redevelopment Project. On Thursday, the prime minister also unveiled a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose while the evergreen tune of ‘Kadam Kadam Badaye Ja’ played in the background.

Pranjit Basumatary, a resident of Assam, was left spell-bound by the magnanimity and beauty of the Kartavya Path. “The word ‘Kartavya’ will motivate the younger generation,” the 29-year-old Basumatary said on being asked about the change of name of India’s most recognised boulevard.

Basumatary with a team of 15 mates travelled over 2,000 km to perform at the cultural event following the inauguration ceremony of Kartavya Path by PM Modi. “Freedom fighters gave their lives to give us a free India. It is because of them that we are able to serve the nation with our art. The change is certainly positive,” he said.

Akshat Sharma, 17, who visited Kartavya Path ahead of the inaugural ceremony, said that the new name brings a feeling of ‘Indianness’

“The previous name (Rajpath) somehow reminded me of the British times. The new name along with the redevelopment brings a feeling of everything belonging to us,” the teenager from Uttar Pradesh.

Yash Singhal said that the new look would definitely attract more tourists from across the world to Kartavya Path. “Lush green gardens, refurbished canals, bright lights and cleanliness — all these features will definitely attract foreign tourists along with local ones too,” said the Ghaziabad teenager, who completed his schooling this year.

For Ram Naresh, it was a moment to cherish with his workers. Around 1,200 workers worked tirelessly for the past one and half years to make the project a success, he said. “Workers, especially from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, were engaged for the project. Work even continued during the Covid times,” he said. Naresh worked as a supervisor in the Central Avenue project.

Supervisor Ram Naresh worked with workers from UP and Bihar at the site | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
Supervisor Ram Naresh worked with workers from UP and Bihar at the site | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

Granite from Rajasthan was used for the project. The lawns have been replanted with different species of grass. Storm water drains have also been constructed to prevent water-logging, said people who worked at the site.

Also Read: Wiping out ‘weak past’ — how renaming Rajpath to Kartavya Path reflects Modi’s decolonisation bid

Cultural attraction

Colourful hues were seen across the lane of Kartavya Path as cultural teams from various states dotted the area. More than 20 teams from various states had rehearsed and performed for the mega event.

“It is a proud feeling that we have got a chance to present our cultural dance at the national level,” said Chetna Bukre, who was dressed in Maharashtrian attire ready to perform at the inaugural ceremony.

“I would definitely recommend others to visit this place. The view is beautiful especially during late evening due to the lighting and greenery,” said Chandrakant Patil, another member of the team from Maharashtra.

Coach Talwinder Singh, who accompanied a team from Punjab, remarked that the canals along Kartavya Path were pleasing and that the bridges over them were an add-on.

Coach Talwinder Singh (dressed in white) with his cultural team from Punjab | Chitvan Vinayak | ThePrint
Coach Talwinder Singh (dressed in white) with his cultural team from Punjab | Chitvan Vinayak | ThePrint

The canals along both sides of Rajpath have been fitted with aerators, and walls have been reinforced to prevent seepage. Sixteen bridges have been laid out in textured red granite.

“The changed look reflects more of ‘Made in India’ feeling,” said Mrinalini, who arrived from Manipur for the cultural performance at the venue.

The revamped space at Rajpath includes eight new amenity blocks which are below ground level to maintain the character of the space. These blocks have 64 female toilets, 32 male toilets and 10 accessible toilets for the differently abled, and drinking water facilities.

The 74 historic light poles along the stretch have been restored, upgraded and reinstalled, while 900 new poles have been added in the area. A portion of the area beyond the canals is set aside for parking, with bays for 1,117 cars and 35 buses, and designated areas for app-based taxis and auto rickshaws. 

(Edited by Tony Rai)

Also Read: TV news made Central Vista look lovely. But why must we have ‘Delhi-darshan’ every day?


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