Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday joined Governor & Chandigarh UT administrator VP Singh Badnore in giving in-principle approval for the establishment of an India International Centre (IIC) at the existing site of the Beant Singh memorial and the Chandigarh Centre of Performing and Visual Arts in Sec 42, Chandigarh.Captain Amarinder said that his government and the family of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, who had been martyred in a car bombing in 1995, had no objection to the proposed centre as long as the sanctity of the memorial was maintained at all costs.The proposed centre, to be developed on the lines of Delhi’s IIC, will be christened as Sardar Beant Singh India International Centre. The cost of the project would be equally shared by the Punjab government and the Chandigarh Administration. The decision was taken during a meeting of the Beant Singh Memorial Society and the Chandigarh Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, which the Governor and the Chief Minister attended along with other representatives from both Punjab and Chandigarh.The governor suggested that the proposed centre will be independent of the government/administration of both Punjab and Chandigarh, and said that a membership drive would soon be started for the same.The Chandigarh India International Centre, proposed to be developed adjacent to the Beant Singh memorial, will encompass the Media Centre, whose structure is ready, and the existing library and the conference halls. The Media Centre building will be renamed and will house a restaurant and cafeteria besides a convention centre, as part of the proposed memorial cum international centre.The decision to set up a live memorial was taken way back in 1996, just months after the assassination of Beant Singh.
It was decided then to develop and raise a memorial in the memory of Late Beant Singh, and keeping Le Corbusier's policy of not installing any statues of important personalities in public areas of Chandigarh, it was decided to have a living memorial for S. Beant Singh. At the same time there were plans of making a Chandigarh Centre for Performing and Visual Arts as there was a requirement of such a cultural hub for the city of Chandigarh. A meeting of the steering committee of the Beant Singh Memorial and the Chandigarh Centre for the Performing and VisuaL Arts was held on 12.10.1996 under the Chairmanship of the then Adviser to the Administrator, Chandigarh. In the meeting it was decided that instead of having two societies (one for the Beant Singh Memorial and other for Chandigarh Centre for the Performing and Visual Arts), only one society may be formed as Sardar Beant Singh was a great patron of performing and visual Arts.Accordingly, a society named Sardar Beant Singh Memorial and Chandigarh Centre for Performing and Visual Arts society was registered on 26.11.1996.An amount of Rs. 18.55 crores has been spent on the first phase of the project so far. The total contribution of the Punjab Government so far has been about Rs. 8.00 crores, while the Chandigarh Administration has made a total contribution of Rs. 12.69 crores.The meeting was attended by late chief minister, Beant Singh’s family members, including MP Ludhiana, Ravneet Bittu, MLA Khanna, Gurkirat Singh Kotli and Tej Parkash, and Media Advisor to Punjab CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Secretary Punjab Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Advisor to Administrator Chandigarh Manoj Parida, Special Principal Secretary to CM Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Principal Secretary Home Chandigarh Arun Kumar Gupta, Finance Secretary Chandigarh Administration Ajoy Sinha, Chief Engineer Chandigarh Administration Mukesh Anand, Chief Architect Urban Planning Chandigarh S K Setia, Chief Architect Punjab Ms. Sapna.