Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Sir Sobha Singh (1890-1978) was a civil contractor and a prominent builder of Lutyens' Delhi and was once the single largest builder and real estate owner of New Delhi. Sobha was the sole contractor for the South Block (the Secretariat Builidng which houses the most important ministries in the Indian government), the War Memorial Arch ( now India Gate), some parts of the ViceregalSir Sobha Singh had four sons and a daughter by his wife, Lady Varyam Kaur. Writer and author, his son "KS" or Khushwant Singh has made himself known the world over for his audacious and fresh style of writing. House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan) and Vijaya Chowk. Sobha Singh bought as much land in Delhi as he could. He bought several extensive sites at as little as Rs 2 per square yard, freehold. There were few other takers, and he came to be described as adhi dilli da malik (the owner of half of Delhi). He also became the first lndian president of the New Delhi Municipal Council and held the post four times, in 1938, 1942, and 1945-46. He was knighted by the government and appointed a member of the Council of States. Sir Sobha Singh had four sons and a daughter by his wife, Lady Varyam Kaur. Writer and author, Khushwant Singh has made himself known the world over for his audacious and fresh style of writing. Sir Sobha Singh left a large part of his private estate to a charitable trust, The Sobha Singh Trust, which maintains homes and hospices for the terminally ill and aged all over the country, most recently it built, a dharamsala, within the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital complex, in New Delhi in 2005.