On December 25, north-east India will get its first-ever statue of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Built at a cost of Rs 15 lakh, the 13-feet bronze statue is being installed at Zero Point of the East-West Corridor.
Union road and transport minister Nitin Gadkari will be present for the unveiling of the statue along with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
Artist Chandra Sekhar Das built the statue in four months in his studio in Kolkata. Silchar MP Dr Rajdeep Roy conceived the idea in 2003-2004. Along with his district team, the statue was then commissioned in August this year. Roy made an individual contribution of Rs 1 lakh to start with and the statue has been built with contribution from over 11,000 BJP karyakartas who came forward to support the idea.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Roy said: “Many admirers of the late PM expressed their willingness to contribute in the making of the bronze statue. Keeping in mind the sentiments associated with the great statesman, we had to open an account for the contribution which was only voluntary donation."
He added, "People of Barak are very emotional about the former PM. He visited here multiple times. Vajpayee also stayed in my house in 1984 for three days and also came for my father’s election campaign in 2001.”
In 1994, the Golden Quadrilateral Project for East-West corridor was conceived by Vajpayee so that the North could connect to South and East to West for smooth passenger traffic as well as freight movement. Rangpur in Silchar became the zero point on the eastern side and Saurashtra on the western side.
Apart from unveiling the statue, Gadkari will also attend the 18th convocation of Assam University Silchar and participate in the Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi program.