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Rs 50 crore eco-friendly project for Harike wetland, announces Navjot Sidhu

He said that with this project, the wetland will become a state-of-the-art destination.

punjab Updated: Jun 19, 2018 12:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Harike Pattan (Tarn Taran)
Harike wetland,Punjab tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu,Punjab government
Punjab tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu during his visit to Harike in Tarn Taran district on Monday.(HT Photo)

Punjab tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu announced a world-class eco-friendly project worth Rs 50 crore for Harike wetland and wildlife sanctuary on Monday. It is the largest wetland in north India along the border of Tarn Taran and Ferozepur districts.

The minister was on a four-day tour to tourist destinations of Punjab and reached Harike Pattan on Monday along with top brass of the tourism department and local officials. He said that with this project, the wetland will become a state-of-the-art destination.

‘Hussainiwala Shaheedi Smarak, Saragharhi gurudwara to be developed into tourist hubs’
  • “The Punajb tourism department would develop 30 places in the state with historical importance, including Shaheedi Smarak Hussainiwala, and historical gurudwara Saragarhi in Ferozepur, as hubs of tourism,” state tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Monday. He said that this would generate employment and develop tourism sector in the state. The government would spend Rs 600 crore for the purpose, he said, while paying homage at the martyrs memorial at Hussainiwala at Ferozepur on Monday.The minister said hat a comprehensive plan has been chalked out for the development of Shaheedi Smarak Hussainiwala so as to attract tourists. He said Rs 10 crore would be spent on the development of Shaheedi Smarak Hussainiwala and Saragarhi Gurudwara as tourist hubs with laser shows, restaurants, landscaping and public conveniences.He also disclosed that the proposals sent by MLA (Ferozepur Urban) Parminder Singh Pinki to his department would be met with approval leading to their completion.

Terming Harike Pattan as a place with great potential, Sidhu said the Bharatpur sanctuary gets 16,000 birds and is highly rated whereas around one lakh rare species, including migratory birds, reach Harike every year and yet, its potential has not been fully explored.

Sidhu, who went into to the river along with MLAs Kulbir Singh Zira and Harminder Singh Gill in a boat, said, “The state government is committed to turn this place into a world-class tourist destination. It has tremendous potential that hasn’t been unlocked till now.”

Detailing on the project that is being worked on for Harike, Sidhu said, “Harike lake is a confluence of Beas and Satluj rivers, where Majha, Malwa and Doaba meet. We can’t have such a wetland anywhere else with such rare credentials.”

Special attractions

“We will introduce motorboats, angling, rafting, para sailing and viewing Indus water dolphins on one side and on the other, we will have tented accommodations, tree houses, pedal boats, nature trail and bird watching towers,” he said, adding, “A floating restaurant will be setup at Rajasthan feeder canal, which fed water from Satluj and Beas rivers,” he added.

The project will also have Shikaras on the lines of Kashmir’s Dal Lake where people can even stay, the minister said.

He further said that motorboats will only be operational when there are no birds. “Ensuring a peaceful environment for the migratory birds will be our top priority,” said Sidhu.

The tourism minister also asked the officials of the department to start working on the project so that it could be completed soon. He also said that eminent consultants, including Knight Frank, were being roped in to guide and bring out the best at Harike.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 12:26 IST