2 months on, revival work at Kanjli wetland yet to begin

Govt had announced 450 cr project in Sept, but admn is yet to allot contract to any firm
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Published on Dec 15, 2019 11:06 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Kapurthala

Even two months after the state government announced that the Kanjli wetland will be revived at a cost of 450.94 crore, nothing has been done in this regard by the local administration so far.

The wetland, once a popular picnic spot, has been neglected for decades by successive governments and has now become a haven for drug addicts.

As part of the 550th Parkash Purb celebrations of Guru Nanak, the government had made the announcement in September to develop this neglected park into a proper picnic spot.

However, the local administration is yet to allot the contract for the work to any firm so far.

As per the announcement, 275 crore will be spent on the construction of a 2-km road in the wetland area, developing a cycle track, a walking track, besides repair of Kanjli head regulator; 59.10 crore will be spent on renovation of restaurants, a reception centre and a boating point and 57.75 crore on horticulture and landscaping.

Also, power infrastructure will be developed at a cost of 46.81 crore and 10.12 crore will be spent on water supply channels and renovation of washrooms.

Hundreds of migratory birds used to visit the wetland in the past, but only a few winged visitors have arrived this time due to its neglected condition.

The wetland, spread over 183 hectares, holds religious significance as it is part of the Kali Bein, a holy rivulet associated with Guru Nanak.

The wetland came into existence in 1870 with the construction of headworks on the rivulet. It was once famous for the annual Baisakhi fair, but it has now been years since the fair was organised here.

The site, which was recognised in 2012 under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for conservation and utilisation of wetlands, is in a shambles these days.

The site was a well-maintained picnic spot till 2004 and people used to turn up here in large numbers to enjoy boating.

It has now become a getaway for drug addicts, with empty packets of cigarettes and syringes usually lying across the wetland.

Meanwhile, additional deputy commissioner (development) Avtar Singh Bhullar said the administration has floated tenders for the beautification and renovation work of the wetland and work would be started by December-end.

“We have received the funds from the government. The renovation work got delayed as there were some changes in the project,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Jatinder Mahal is a staff correspondent. He covers Jalandhar, Kapurthala and SBS Nagar district for Hindustan Times.

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