The state government of Chhattisgarh has decided to rename the state’s new capital city Naya Raipur as Atal Nagar in the memory of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The decision was taken during the state’s cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh on August 21, 2018.
Vajpayee, one of India’s tallest leaders, passed away at the age of 93 on August 16 in New Delhi following a prolonged illness. His last rites ceremony was held with full state honours at Smriti Sthal in the national capital on August 17. The late Prime Minister was also accorded gun salute during the cremation ceremony.
The ceremony was attended by top dignitaries including Indian President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Chief Ministers and Governors of several states and many foreign dignitaries including the King of Bhutan and former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai.
• The Chhattisgarh government has decided to develop an Atal Memorial in an area of five acres at the state’s new capital.
• It has also decided to install a statue of the former Prime Minister in the state capital and district headquarters of all 27 districts.
• It will also be renaming few other places and institutions including Bilaspur University and Rajnandgaon Medical College after Vajpayee.
• The Bilaspur University will now be known as Atal Bihari Vajpayee University and Narrow Gauge Line as Atal Path and a central park, being constructed beside the Collectorate, will be named as Atal Park.
• The state has also decided to institute awards known as ‘Atal Sushashan Awards’ to honour people who have rendered excellent service to the society. It has been proposed that these awards would be handed out on November 1 to mark the foundation day of the state of Chhattisgarh.
• The state cabinet also approved the renaming of the second phase of Singh’s Vikas Yatra as Atal Vikas Yatra.
• Besides this, the state is planning to name a battalion of the state police force as Pokharan battalion to commemorate Vajpayee’s contribution to the Pokhran Nuclear Test.
The state government of Madhya Pradesh has decided to build two memorials in Gwalior and Bhopal and include a biography on Vajpayee in the school curriculum from next year to preserve the memory of the late leader.
The state government has also decided to name the Global Skill Park, being developed at a cost of Rs 600 crore in Bhopal, after Vajpayee.
The cabinet of Himachal Pradesh also approved the proposal to install a statue of Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Shimla’s historic Ridge. It also sent a proposal to the Centre to name the upcoming strategic Rohtang Tunnel after the former prime minister.