Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu) | Commemorating the first death anniversary of former president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, his life-size statue was unveiled here today, while the Centre also announced inclusion of his hometown Rameswaram under AMRUT as a tribute to the ‘People’s President’.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Kalam had left a an irreplaceable void, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the Centre has decided to include Rameswaram in Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) by relaxing norms as a tribute to the former president.
Rich tributes were paid to Kalam at a huge function organised here by Defence Research and Development Organisation, with which he was associated for long, the Defence Ministry and Ministry of Urban Development. Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar and MoS Road Transport and Highways Pon Radhakrishnan were among the dignitaries present when Naidu unveiled the statue at Peikarumbu here.
Modi on Twitter said, Its been a year since our beloved Dr A P J Abdul Kalam left us & created a void that is irreplaceable (sic). My tributes to this great personality. Naidu said it’s difficult still to believe Dr Kalam had passed away. Dr Kalam will live forever in our minds and hearts. His thoughts continue to be with us all the time, he said.
On the Centre’s decision to include the town under AMRUT by relaxing the norms of eligibility, he said while cities with a population of one lakh and above are included in the scheme, Prime Minister Modi included the town, with a population of 45,000, as a tribute to Dr Kalam. Naidu said the Centre has approved projects worth Rs 48 crore for Rameswaram under AMRUT.
Of this, Rs 45 crore would be used to improve sewerage networks and rest on developing parks and open spaces. This is a token of what the minimum we could do for the memory of Dr Kalam, he said. Naidu thanked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for allotting the land to construct the memorial in memory of the former President. When I met her last week, she assured me that whatever needs to be done for a befitting memorial would be done by the state government, he said.
The vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is federal cooperation where the Centre and states work in harmony. This memorial is an example of his vision. I thank the Chief Minister for her cooperation, he said.