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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Attari gallery to miss August 15 deadline, work to be over by October

The retreat ceremony at the Attari Border, in which BSF jawans and Pakistani Rangers indulge in aggressive posturing and foot stomping, has become an attraction for tourists worldwide.

punjab Updated: Aug 02, 2017 13:12 IST
Aseem Bassi
Aseem Bassi
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
A view of the under-construction visitors’ gallery at Attari border near Amritsar on Tuesday.
A view of the under-construction visitors’ gallery at Attari border near Amritsar on Tuesday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT )
         

Already running behind schedule, the Border Security Force (BSF) is hopeful that the new visitor’s gallery at the Attari border is complete by November this year.

The retreat ceremony at the Attari Border, in which BSF jawans and Pakistani Rangers indulge in aggressive posturing and foot stomping, has become an attraction for tourists worldwide, and the new gallery expects to accommodate around 20,000 people. The new U-shaped gallery will not only offer more seating capacity, but also give a better view to the audience.

Presently, the space can accommodate about 5,000 people but due to the attraction of the high voltage ceremony, almost 10,000 people reach the venue each evening.

Talking to HT, a BSF official said, “We had asked the CPWD (Central Public Works Department) to complete the project by Augusts 15, but by the looks of it, we are eyeing an October or November completion.” The official said that they are regularly reviewing the progress of the project and since one side of the gallery is complete, it has been thrown open for the tourists.

Earlier, the Rs 17 crore project of the ministry of home affairs (MHA) was expected by the BSF to be complete by March this year. A BSF official said, “We are hopeful that with chairs, we would be able to accommodate around 13,500 people in the new gallery whereas without chairs, the capacity will exceed to 20,000.”

Apart from the gallery, new washrooms, conference hall, CCTV room, toilets, dining hall, guard room, dormitory and kitchen are also being built at the place. Being a highly-sensitive area, the gallery will have high-tech CCTV cameras and other security provisions to ensure safety.

Project background

The MHA had sanctioned the project in October 2013 and the project was to be completed in 21 months from then. But the project kicked off in April 2015 after much delay. The earlier gallery was inaugurated in 1999.