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Punjabi to be on top, National Highway signboards being amended

The public works department (buildings and roads) has started amending the signboards along the Bathinda-Faridkot national highway to have Punjabi on the top.

punjab Updated: Oct 25, 2017 21:26 IST
Navneet Sharma
Navneet Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjabi,National Highway signboards,Punjabi to be on top
The recent protests by some organisations over relegating Punjabi to number three on signboards, behind Hindi and English, have made the state government act promptly. (HT File)

It seems the Punjabi spirit of staying second to none has paid dividends in this case.

The recent protests by some organisations over relegating Punjabi to number three on signboards, behind Hindi and English, have made the state government act promptly.

The public works department (buildings and roads) has started amending the signboards along the Bathinda-Faridkot national highway to have Punjabi on the top.

The department started the work to restore the primacy of Punjabi language on the signboards along the national highways following instructions from the state government. “The chief engineer in-charge of national highways has been asked to complete the work at the earliest,” Hussan Lal, secretary, PWD (B&R), told Hindustan Times.

There had been angry protests by activists of the Dal Khalsa, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Bharatiya Kisan Union (Krantikari), Malwa Youth Federation and other organisations in the past few weeks against the alleged “disrespect” shown to Punjabi by bringing it to the bottom on signboards.

They smudged signboards along the highway, deleting Hindi and English words and leaving names of places only in Punjabi. The protesters have been demanding names of places on signboards in Punjabi on the top.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal had also demanded that the primacy of Punjabi language on signboards on national highways be restored in the state, saying that the people of Punjab were “hurt” by the existing trend.

PWD chief engineer (national highways) AK Singla said the contractor has started “rectifying” the signboards on a 120-km stretch of the Bathinda-Amritsar national highway. “The work will take three weeks or so. We hope to complete it by November 20,” he said.

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 21:13 IST