New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh laid Friday the foundation stone for construction of the Army headquarter’s new building in Delhi Cantonment and asserted that the world now recognises India stands among the powerful nations.
Christened ‘Thal Sena Bhawan’, the seven-storeyed complex designed ‘like a rising sun’, will be spread over nearly 39 acres, officials said.
“We have laid the first stone of the new Sena Bhawan. This (stone) will not reach the top, but it is the first stone. And, it will represent the unsung heroes of the Armed Forces who have sacrificed their lives for the country,” Singh told a gathering at the foundation stone laying ceremony
The Army headquarters is currently housed in the iconic South Block at Raisina Hill in Lutyens’ Delhi. The new department of military affairs headed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will be housed in this new building, informed Singh.
The defence minister also performed ‘bhoomipujan’ (ground-breaking) ceremony at a venue in the vicinity of the Manekshaw Centre. It began with inter-faith prayers as four religious teachers, representing the four main religions of India, read lines from their sacred texts, wishing prosperity and well being for the building that will come up and people who will work in it.
Singh said the desire of soldiers who laid down their lives was not that people would know and recognise them, but ‘their only desire was that India should be a capable and a powerful country’.
“Due to our brave soldiers, our country is known as a capable and a powerful one, and India has the capacity and strength to face big challenges,” asserted Singh.
Army Chief General MM Naravane was also present on the occasion and a large number of defence personnel and jawans were among the audience.
Asked about the duration needed to complete the building, the Army chief said, “It will take about three-four years for the new building to come up.”
“About 2,900 officials from the military and 3,100 civilians will be working here,” a senior official said, adding that the cost of the project would be in excess of Rs 700 crore.