SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2003
THE TIMES OF INDIA
PM lays foundation of spiritual centre in Delhi
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Saturday laid the foundation of a massive spiritual complex, named the Aastha Kunj, spread over 200 hectares in the heart of Delhi.
Surrounded by famous centres of worship like the Baha'i Lotus temple, Kalkaji and Iskcon temples, the Aastha Kunj is aimed at providing spiritual solace to people. It will have urban park facilities, a festival congregational zone, ecological corridor and a socio-cultural zone.
Laying the foundation stone, Vajpayee asserted that India was emerging as a powerful nation and asked people to mould their mindset in line with the changing situation.
"Today there is a need to change our views as the situation is changing. The world acknowledges India as an emerging powerful nation," he said.
Upholding the never-say-die spirit, the Prime Minister in his philosophical style asked people to take a pledge to march ahead, come what may.
To drive home his point, he referred to the drought situation in 14 states and said that the government tackled the problem successfully by not letting prices to shoot and keeping inflation under control.
"In fact, we have exported foodgrains, provided rice at Rs 2 per kg in the drought-hit areas and launched food for work programme in those places," he said and presented a dig at media reports of starvation deaths.
Referring to Saturday's function, Vajpayee said that he had only laid the foundation and construction work was yet to start.
"In today's politics only foundation stones are laid and constructions do not take place," he said in his inimitable style.
On the time schedule for completion of Aastha Kunj, he said that the task should be accomplished within two-and-a-half years instead of three years.
"Our aim should be to do something before time," he said and citied an example of Korean ships being preferred the world over as the country was known for delivering the goods ahead of schedule.
Vajpayee had a word of praise for the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which is developing the complex. "I congratulate DDA. I must say DDA is doing a good job," he added.
©Copyright 2003, Times of India (India)
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