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Auditorium built in Batalvi’s memory incomplete after 34 yrs

Press Trust of India  Batala, May 06, 2014
First Published: 08:47 IST(6/5/2014) | Last Updated: 10:42 IST(6/5/2014)

An auditorium to be built in the memory of poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi remains incomplete even 34 years after its foundation stone was laid. Batalvi died on May 6, 1973, while the foundation stone of the auditorium, named after him, was laid by then Punjab governor Aminud Din Ahmad in 1980.

The auditorium is still incomplete even after 34 years have passed since its foundation stone was laid, sources said.

Batalvi was one of youngest recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award at the age of 31 years in 1968.

Known as John Keats of Punjab, he has penned down the best of local literature. In 1980, the Shiv Kumar Batalvi Memorial Trust was formed under the chairmanship of the then Gurdsapur deputy commissioner Ashok Kumar Kundra.

Apart from the contribution from locals and industrialists, successive governments had been doling out funds for its development, sources said.

Due to the incompletion of the auditorium, local artists and residents were unable to organise any cultural function there and they have to depend upon other means, they claim.

The Punjab government had provided Rs. 1.8 crore two years ago to complete the auditorium. Besides, the administration spent Rs. 60 lakh for constructing its roof and floor, officials said.

Gurdaspur DC Abhinav Trikha said, “The administration has received Rs. 1.8 crore to complete the work of auditorium. The government is in process to build the auditorium.”

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