Bhagat Singh’s museum hanging fire for 7 years amid lack of funds
The project of building a museum dedicated to Shaheed Bhagat Singh at his native village, Khatkar Kalan, in the district has been left in the lurch for more than seven years.punjab Updated: Mar 22, 2016 15:49 IST
The project of building a museum dedicated to Shaheed Bhagat Singh at his native village, Khatkar Kalan, in the district has been left in the lurch for more than seven years.
The protracted delay has also increased the total cost of the museum from Rs 8.45 crore to Rs 18 crore. The land acquisition cost of about Rs 3 crore is also included in it.
The executive agency
for building the museum, Markfed, has been waiting for funds from the government, due to which the work was also stopped. As Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom day falls on the coming Wednesday, some labourers reached the construction site.
It is pertinent to mention here that deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is scheduled to address a rally at Khatkar Kalan on Wednesday, near the museum’s construction site.
Former Union home minister P Chidambaram had laid the foundation stone of the project on February 23, 2009, in the presence of the then Union minister for tourism and culture Ambika Soni and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The museum was envisioned as a memorial to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, and more than 9,000 martyrs from Punjab who sacrificed their lives in the Indian freedom struggle.
As per the project, the existing building of the old museum was planned to be dismantled after the construction of the new building. For extension of the new museum, around 85 kanals of land was also acquired. The new structure will house the new museum, photo galleries, and an auditorium.
Earlier, Punjab Mandi Board was entrusted the work of constructing the new building, but after some time, Markfed was appointed the executive agency for the project.
Around 75% construction work of the museum has been completed by Markfed but completion of flooring, doors, windows, electrical fitting is awaited due to want of funds from the central government.
Executive engineer, Markfed, Shiv Charan Kumar said, “We sent a reminder to release the pending amount of Rs 3 crore to the central government ten days ago. Work has been delayed because of lack of funds.”
He added that work regarding exhibits of martyrs, to be done by the department of tourism and cultural affairs, was still pending and museum work would be accomplished only after that.
Chief executive officer of Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board, Navjotpal Singh Randhawa, denied there were any issues related to the project. He said issues regarding land enhancement for the project had also been cleared and construction would be completed this year.