SAD plays memorial card with eye on 2017 elections

  • Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Sep 19, 2015 10:16 IST

With an eye on the 2017 assembly elections, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) wants to reclaim the legacy of saints and Sikh martyrs by setting up memorials, the strategy it had successfully adopted during the 2012 polls.

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has set the November 2016 deadline for the Guru Ravidas memorial coming up at Khuralgarh village in Hoshiarpur district.

The work on the much-hyped Jang-e-Azadi memorial coming up at Kartapur in Jalandhar district is also going on war footing as the government wants to complete the project before September 2016.

The government is so keen to complete the mega memorial at Kartapur, being built at a cost of Rs 200 crore, on time that IAS officer Vinay Bublani has been given a special assignment to oversee the project with an order to give week-wise report to the Jung-e-Azadi Foundation, the implementing body of the project, and to the state government.

Bublani, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the project, who was also holding charge of the Jalandhar Improvement Trust, was relieved to ensure that the project does not suffer.

“Ever since the project started, not a single hour has been wasted by the team hired for the construction work. About 25% of the project has been completed. With all our wings working in tandem, we hope to finish the project by September 2016,” Bublani said. The project is in the fast lane and 60% of the work on the memorial would be completed by yearend, he added.

The shooting of a 90-minute film being produced by the foundation under the direction of noted film personality Shyam Benegal is also in its last leg.

“The film will be completed within two months,” said Bublani.

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