Home / News / India /  PM Modi Inaugurates ‘Smriti Van’ Earthquake Memorial in Kutch, Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the Smriti Van memorial, which celebrates the courage shown by people during the devastating 2001 earthquake in the Kutch region of Gujarat which took the lives of 13,000 people.

The grand structure, which is the first such memorial in the country, is spread over 470 acres on Bhujiyo Hill near Bhuj town.

It celebrates the strength and resistance of the citizens of Kutch during the earthquake on January 26, 2001, which had its epicentre in Bhuj.

The memorial carries the names of the people who lost their lives during the earthquake. It also has a state-of-the-art Smriti Van Earthquake Museum.

At the inauguration, Modi was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. Both took a walk after, inside the premise, exploring.

Notably, it was PM Modi who came up with the idea of setting up such a memorial when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.

Features of the memorial:

Spread over 470 acres it has got a museum which showcases Gujarat’s topography, rebuilding initiatives, and success stories after the 2001 earthquake, and informs about different kinds of disasters and future readiness for any type of disaster.

It has a block to relive the experience of an earthquake with the help of a 5D simulator and another block for people to pay homage to the lost souls.

Another key attraction is a special theatre where visitors can experience an earthquake through vibration and sound effects.

The museum, having eight blocks and spread across 11,500 square meters, will showcase the Harappan civilisation of this region, scientific information regarding earthquakes, Gujarat’s culture, science behind cyclones and Kutch’s success story after the earthquake.

There are also 50 audio-visual models, a hologram, interactive projection and virtual reality facilities at the museum for visitors.

Other attractions include 50 check dams, a sun point and pathways with an overall length of eight kilometres, 1.2 km of internal roads, a 1 MW solar plant and parking facility for 3,000 visitors.

On Saturday night Modi shared the pictures of the memorial before inauguration on his social media.

He is on a two-day visit to his home state Gujarat where the Assembly elections are due later this year.

On the first day, Modi attended the Khadi Utsav event in Ahmedabad. He also inaugurated the 300-meter long ‘Atal Bridge’ for pedestrians and cyclists across the Sabarmati River.

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