Work at the martyrs’ museum coming up at Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s native village Khatkar Kalan in SBS Nagar, which has been stalled for the past two months, is set to begin again with the Centre releasing Rs 2 crore.
The department of tourism and cultural affairs confirmed that it has received the grant and the work will start next week.
Former Union home minister P Chidambaram had laid the foundation stone of the project on February 23, 2009, in the presence of the then Union minister for tourism and culture Ambika Soni and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. The museum was envisioned as a memorial to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru and more than 9,000 martyrs from Punjab who sacrificed their lives during the freedom struggle.
Delays in executing the plan have already shot up the total cost of the museum from Rs 8.45 crore to Rs 17 crore.
The existing building of the old museum was to be dismantled after constructing a new building. Additional 85 kanals were acquired for the structure, which was to house the new museum, photo galleries and an auditorium.
The executive agency, Markfed, had been waiting for Rs 1-crore funds for the past four months to complete the building. The agency had even approached its higher authorities a number of times, but to no avail.
Due to the paucity of funds, several new air conditioners, electronic gadgets and power generator had started rusting inside the building, leading to wastage of public money. The work on exhibits of martyrs besides lighting and sound, which is to be carried out by the department of tourism and cultural affairs of the Punjab government, is still pending. The open space outside the building, meanwhile, has converted into a dumping ground.