BJP leader slams Punjab govt for 'demolishing' city's heritage | punjab | Hindustan Times
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BJP leader slams Punjab govt for 'demolishing' city's heritage

BJP national vice-president Laxmi Kanta Chawla has sought to know from the Punjab government whether it understood the concept and meaning of 'heritage', as it was more involved in "demolishing the old order instead of preserving it and all this was being done in the name of development".

punjab Updated: Jul 12, 2014 20:45 IST
HT Correspondent

BJP national vice-president Laxmi Kanta Chawla has sought to know from the Punjab government whether it understood the concept and meaning of 'heritage', as it was more involved in "demolishing the old order instead of preserving it and all this was being done in the name of development".

Welcoming the announcement made by union finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech to include Amritsar in the National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana along with five other cities of the country, Chawla, in a statement issued here on Saturday, regretted that the state government had gone about destroying the heritage status of the city instead of preserving it.

In this context, she pointed to bulldozing of several heritage and old structures in the walled city.

Under this scheme, the city will be allocated special funds from the union government for preserving and conserving its heritage and also for developing it into a major tourist destination.

"The buildings, some of which were very old, located in the bazaar adjoining the historic Jallianwala Bagh, were bulldozed for widening the road. Not only did the government destroy the livelihood of many of the shopkeepers in this bazaar but also played havoc with the heritage," she said, while pointing out that a heritage was attached to several of the bazaars and streets of the old walled city.

She also sought to know from the government whether heritage meant increasing the number of 'ahatas' (taverns), slaughterhouses and meat shops and wine shops in the city. Wine shops and 'ahatas' can be found in every nook and corner of the city, she regretted.

Chawla also took a dig at the government for destroying the green cover of the city through the felling of trees to widen roads. A number of trees, some of which were over 100 years old, were felled along some roads to make way for the Bus Rapid Transport System and no one paid any attention despite a hue and cry being raised, she regretted.