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Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times
Khatkar Kalan (Nawanshahr), March 15, 2013
The martyrdom day (March 23) of Bhagat Singh this year is likely to be commemorated with darkness enveloping his memorial park at Khatkar Kalan village. Earlier this week, Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PowerCom) suspended power supply to the park, adjacent to his ancestral house, for non-payment of electricity bill of Rs. 1.16 lakh accumulated over two years.

The power utility also disconnected the electricity supply to the martyr's house. However, this was restored later, after branding it as a mistake.

The horticulture department, which maintains the park, has expressed its inability to pay the bill and claimed that it has been writing to the higher authorities, requesting for funds.

The Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Memorial park is also ill-maintained with people dumping garbage at a side of the park. The administration has deputed staff to remove the garbage from near the park. Sources said that there was only one safai karamchari to maintain the park and he had also not been paid for the last 16 months.

Speaking to HT over phone, Banga horticulture development officer, Dr Narinder Kalsi, said, "The department does not have the funds to pay the outstanding bill of Rs. 1.16 lakh, non-payment of which has led to disconnection of power supply to the park."

He claimed that the department had not received any assistance from the district administration over the past two years and even salaries to safai karamcharis is arranged through donations.

Additional deputy commissioner Amarjeet Pal said, "We have asked PowerCom to restore electricity supply to the park and it will be done soon. On the non-availability of funds for maintenance of the park, we will again request the government to evolve a system for the park."