21 Baisakhis on, Fatehgarh Sahib not yet 'real' district | punjab | Hindustan Times
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21 Baisakhis on, Fatehgarh Sahib not yet 'real' district

punjab Updated: Apr 12, 2013 21:14 IST
Gurpreet Singh Mehak
Gurpreet Singh Mehak
Hindustan Times
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The district came into existence on April 13, 1992, when late Beant Singh was chief minister of Punjab but on another Baisakhi day 21 years on, it remains short of district-level facilites.

Successive governments did little for the development of Fategharh Sahib, victim of political fallouts. Carved out of Patiala with Sirhind, Bassi Pathana, Amloh, Khamano, and Mandi Gobindgarh as main towns, it has generated crores of rupees for the state and Centre out of the industry in Mandi Gobindgarh industry but itself remained poor.

Archaeological site buried in past
Sanghol, which has great importance to achaeologists and historians for excavations that have yielded Toramana and Mihirakula coins, a Buddhist stupa, and Kushan sculptures of the Mathura school of the first and second centuries, is buried in the past as far as the upkeep of the village and the sites is concerned.

Only one govt college in education hub
The district headquarters have no sewerage, clean drinking water, fully equipped hospitals, bus stand, and fire station. Illegal residential colonies dot the entire district, even though the Punjab government already has approved a master plan for Fatehgarh Sahib. The district has become an education hub but still lacks matching infrastructure. The only government college in the district (JLN at Turan near Mandi Gobindgarh) is dilapidated.

Political bias?
Of the three assembly constituencies in the district, Sirhind and Amloh elected Congressman, Kuljit Singh Nagra and Randeep Singh, respectively, and only Bassi Pathana is represented by a member of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Nirmal Singh. Even the parliamentarian from Fatehgarh Sahib, Sukhdev Singh Libra, belongs to the Congress.

Heath facilities in sick condition
For the treatment of serious ailments, people move patients to Patiala, Ludhiana, or Chandigarh. The lack of advanced equipment in hospitals has increased the number of accident-related deaths. The work on the new tehsil office and judicical complex of Khamano is incomplete. The Mughal-era building of Aam Khas Baag in Sirhind is crumbling.

Not ready for fire
The district has no proper fire brigade or trained personnel to handle any blaze. During emergency, fire tenders are called in from Patiala, Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh and Rajpura. Broken roads and traffic lights have shot up the number of accidents. The industrial town of Mandi Gobindgarh is one of the most polluted in the country, and in Bassi Pathana, Amloh, and Khamano, colonies still have no sewerage connection.

Hopes dashed
The tercentenary of the martyrdom of the younger sahibzadas (sons) of Guru Gobind Singh observed here in December 2004 had kindled a hope that the Punjab government or the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) would do something for the district's development as a tribute to the sahibzadas but the expectations were false.

When Captain Amarinder Singh was chief minister, his government had planned to raise a multi-specialty hospital at Peerjain village, which could never be completed because of political reasons. Local legislator Kuljit Singh Nagra moved the Punjab and Haryana high court on the issue, but the councillors of Mandi Gobindgarh, richest municipal body in the state, didn't stop fighting, while the various government departments remained short of employees.