Attari-Wagah visitors’ gallery aiming for June inauguration
Union home ministry project has missed three earlier deadlinesUpdated: Apr 28, 2018 16:13 IST
After missing several deadlines, the new visitors’ gallery at the Attari-Wagah joint checkpost is set to be inaugurated in June. The new gallery will accommodate around 20,000 viewers of the Retreat Ceremony on the border.
The retreat ceremony at the Attari-Wagah border, in which, BSF Jawans and the Pakistan Rangers indulge in aggressive posturing and foot-stomping, is an attraction for tourists worldwide. There is space for only 5,000 people, but almost 10,000 people reach the venue each evening.
Work in progress
A senior official of Central Public Works Department (CPWD), who didn’t want to be named, said more than 95% work of the gallery has been completed.
“We have already handed over the gallery to the Border Security Force (BSF) for tourists’ access as it provides a better view of the ceremony,” he said, adding that the finishing work of a conference hall and a medical inspection (MI) room inside the gallery was underway, which will be completed before June this year.
The officer further said that earlier the cost of the project was Rs 17 crore, which was revised to Rs 32 crore. He said that as per information, the gallery will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister or other senior minister of the central government.
Apart from the new U-shaped gallery, 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 also have hi-tech CCTV cameras and other security provisions.
The project of the ministry of home affairs (MHA) was expected by the BSF to be completed by March 2017, then by August 2017, and then by January 2018, but all these deadlines were missed pertaining to incomplete work.
Another added attraction to come up is a museum parallel to the gallery. The CPWD official said the construction work of the museum was complete and it would be handed over to the BSF “very soon”. This museum would depict the glorious history of the BSF, its achievements, weapons and other related aspects.
- The MHA had sanctioned the project in October 2013. Union home minister Rajnath Singh launched the project on March 22, 2015, coinciding with the golden jubilee celebrations of the Raising of the BSF.
- October 2013: Project sanctioned
- Rs 17 crore: Initial project cost
- Rs 32 crore: Revised project cost
- Deadlines missed: March 2017; August 2017; January 2018
- Next deadline: June 2018