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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Punjab chief minister urged to table bill for heritage status to city

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, January 03, 2013
First Published: 19:25 IST(3/1/2013) | Last Updated: 19:36 IST(3/1/2013)

The Amritsar Vikas Manch has urged the Punjab government to introduce a bill in the budget session of the Vidhan Sabha for granting heritage status to the holy city of Amritsar.

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This demand was made by Manch patron Charanjit Singh Gumtala in a communique to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday.

In the letter, Gumtala sought to remind the chief minister of a public statement he had made in Amritsar on December 30, 2009. In the statement published in a wide section of the media the next day, the chief minister had stated that his government would bring a bill in the assembly for granting heritage status to the holy city and once cleared by the assembly, the bill would be forwarded to the union government for completion of the necessary formalities.

"Three years have passed but the promise still has not been fulfilled," the letter reminded the CM.

In the letter, Gumtala also reminded the chief minister that Parliament had rejected a forceful demand for declaring Amritsar a heritage city on December 9, 2009 as the government had observed that there was no legal provision to do so either in India or under the Unesco rules. However, the central government did recognise Amritsar's religious and historical significance as well as its tourism potential.

Gumtala also pointed out that perturbed over the refusal of heritage status, MP Navjot Singh Sidhu had promised to take up the matter with the Prime Minister and the chief minister had promised to bring a bill to this effect in the state assembly.

"It seems that like the CM, Sidhu too has forgotten about the issue," Gumtala stated in the letter.

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