The Telegraph
Thursday , January 17 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Collective samadhi plan for VIPs

New Delhi, Jan. 16: The cabinet will tomorrow take a decision on allotting a common cremation ground in Delhi for Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Prime Ministers, both former and those who die in harness.

The urban development ministry will table a proposal for a collective mausoleum where four categories of VIPs, including the three mentioned above, could be cremated.

The government has kept some elbow room for itself over the fourth category. The proposal says any eminent person can be cremated with the cabinet’s approval at the mausoleum, which will be constructed by the public works department and is to be christened Rashtriya Samarak.

A plot, the last on the stretch of samadhis next to former President Giani Zail Singh’s mausoleum, Ekta Sthal, will be used for building the Rashtriya Samarak. The plot till recently had hosted CISF tents.

The plan, in the making for nearly two years now, envisages a square, open-air enclosure covering nearly three acres. The cremations will take place on an elevated platform at the centre. There will be steps around the cremation area so that people can stand or sit.

“It would, however, not be as deep as an arena or an amphitheatre. Also, to give it a more peaceful look, we will cover the steps with grass instead of a concrete granite floor,” said a senior official.

The walls around the entire area will have 10ft-by-10ft bronze planks. “The idea is we can have citations ingrained in these planks about all the leaders who are cremated here. This would give a permanent place for their followers to visit and pay their respects,” the official added.