Central Vista: Delhi’s iconic landmark gets a facelift

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the revamped version of an iconic 3km (1.8m) long avenue in the capital Delhi on Thursday.

The facelift of the road – which hosts the Republic Day celebrations – cost around 6bn rupees ($75m; £65m).

It is part of a larger renovation plan which also includes a new parliament building and residences for the prime minister and vice president.

The total project is expected to cost around 200bn rupees.

Mr Modi’s government floated the renovation plan – known as the Central Vista project – in 2019 to revamp the area in central Delhi which houses major government buildings.

The project drew sharp criticism from opposition leaders, who raised financial and aesthetic concerns.

At the inauguration on Thursday, the name of the road will also be changed from Rajpath (King’s Avenue) to Kartavya Path (Path of Duty).

The avenue connects many important landmarks, including India Gate – a war memorial – and the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the president of India.

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The government says the revamped avenue has more parking spots and facilities such as additional toilets, food stalls, vending kiosks and designated areas for public performances.

The walkways and canals along the road have been cleaned and refurbished. Local media reports say that security at the avenue has also been beefed up with CCTVs cameras and security guards.

Mr Modi will also unveil a 28ft granite statue of Independence hero Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate on Thursday.

After the formal ceremony, the stretch will be opened for the public to visit.

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