Upgradation of many heritage buildings in limbo

  • Neeraj Mohan, Hindustan Times, Sangrur
  • Updated: Sep 30, 2014 22:30 IST

The renovation and upgradation of several heritage buildings in Sangrur seems to be an uphill task for the administration, even as the previous UPA government at the Centre had approved Rs 4.75 crore for the purpose in 2010.

On the request of former Sangrur MP Vijay Inder Singla, the then union tourism minister Kumari Selja had approved the amount on December 14, 2010, for the upgradation of heritage buildings but the work has not started yet.

As per a letter by the union tourism ministry, Selja had allocated Rs 191 lakh for the Diwankhana, Rs 110 lakh for Shahi Samadhan, Rs 78 lakh for Baradari (Banasar Bagh), Rs 6 lakh for Rose Garden, Rs 23.42 lakh for the Clock Tower, Rs 14.19 lakh for the garden near samadhan, Rs 12.33 lakh for conservation work of the Kothi near the museum in Banasar Bagh and Rs 14 lakh for the Sangrur town signage.

But even after a span of four years, the Punjab heritage and tourism promotion board has failed to start the work.Most of the buildings were built in the period between 1864 and 1900, but now wear a deserted look due to lack of maintenance.

When the issue was raised with Navjotpal Singh Randhawa, member secretary of the Punjab heritage and tourism promotion board, he said, "The grant of Rs 4.75 crore was approved by the union government, but the amount was not sufficient to upgrade the buildings. We had floated the tenders thrice, but nobody was ready to complete the project in this amount."

He said, "As the work could not be started, the fund was sent back to the government," and added they had sought money from the 13th finance commission to complete the project.Randhawa however refused to tell the estimated cost of the project saying the buildings were old and the cost could not be ascertained till work started.

Sangrur additional deputy commissioner Pritam Singh Johal said work to upgrade the Samadhi would be started soon.

Former MP Vijay Inder Singla said, "After I got elected, I got Rs 4.75 crore from the centre for the maintenance and repair of all the monuments in the district to make Sangrur a tourist hub, but nothing has happened on the ground level yet."

He added the money was given to Punjab tourism and cultural affairs department and the deputy commissioner was the executing authority but he was not aware about where the money had been spent.

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