Amritsar: War memorial’s Kargil gallery to be thrown open on July 15
The state-of-the-art Punjab State War Heroes’ Memorial-cum-Museum will throw open its eighth gallery dedicated to 1999 Kargil War for tourists on July 15 as the state government has sanctioned Rs 8 crore for the completion of its pending works.
There are nine galleries in the museum and right now, tourists have access to only six as the work of its two galleries — fourth and eighth — is under progress, while the work on the ninth and the last gallery is yet to begin.
Col HP Singh, who is managing the project, said, “We will soon complete the work of eighth gallery, which will be accessible for tourists from July 15 onwards.”
Singh said the gallery will display the history of Kargil War in the form of paintings, art works, and two and three-dimensional (2-D and 3-D) projections. “Short movies made on the Kargil War are in their final stages in New Delhi, which has delayed the project. These will provide a live experience of the war to audience.”
The Kargil gallery will have projection of ‘The Ultimate Control over Siachen Glacier by Indian Army’, ‘Use of Helicopters in Kargil War’, ‘Causality and Evacuation During the War’, ‘Fighter Aircraft in the War’ and ‘Tiger Hill’ among others.
It will also have art depictions on how soldiers climbed the lofty hills through ropes with muskets on their shoulders, and pictures of 14 heroes, besides statistics of Kargil War. The combination of silicon and fibre is being used in the gallery to craft hills, battlefield and faces of Kargil heroes to give real experience the to visitors.
About the fourth gallery
Col HP Singh said they have included the depiction of Battle of Saragarhi and Jallianwala Bagh massacre in fourth gallery, which was primarily dedicated to World War I.
Col Singh said they have also come up with a plan of curating the ninth gallery with an aim to motivate youth to join armed services. Though the work of the gallery is yet to begin, Singh said, “This gallery will have the motivational portrayals of armed forces to encourage youth. We will also help those who show desire to join armed services after visiting this gallery.”
Inscription of martyrs’ names
“The names of 4,000 martyred soldiers, including 54 of Punjab — who have been missing since the first Indo-Pak War (1947-48) — will soon be inscribed on the boundary walls of the fountains inside the memorial. 40 stainless steel plates will be used to inscribe the names of the soldiers,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, Singh said there was a requirement of Rs 28 crore more to complete all pending works. He said the museum was one of the biggest memorial dedicated to war heroes in India and most of the digital accessories used in the museum had been bought from France. “Our initiative has even inspired the Centre that has planned replicate this model at the India Gate,” he said.
No step to increase footfall
The war memorial was inaugurated in October 2016, but has reportedly failed to attract tourists. As per the officials of the memorial, around one lakh tourists have visited it till now, a figure that is termed as ‘not good’. Col Singh said, “We are charging Rs 100 on each entry, while the rate is Rs 50 for students and defence personnel. With this collection, we are not even able to maintain the memorial.” He said they had been planning to take measures to increase the footfall.