Saturday, March 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Govt denotifies protected Ram Bagh
Paves way for Rs 5-crore Ranjit Singh panorama
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 21
The Punjab Government has de-notified part of historic Ram Bagh, the summer capital of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, to pave the way for the construction of Rs 5 crore panorama in memory of the Maharaja. In the notification, the 20-kanal “protected” area has been rendered “unprotected”.

Earlier, under the Punjab Ancient and Historical Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1964, Section four, sub-section three, the entire Ram Bagh was declared a protected area (728 kanals, three marlas) in 1997.

The National Council of Science Museum (NCSM) has already submitted the plans, model and drawings of the proposed panorama to Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, for approval. Talking to The Tribune here today, Mr P.K. Bhaumik, project in charge, said the Commissioner had assured him that the project would be cleared soon despite the bad financial position of the corporation. The NCSM is the largest networking science museum in the world. It has already completed 28 such panoramas in the country, including “Mahabharata” at Kurukshetra (Haryana).

He said the panorama, after the name of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, would be completed in two years, while a similar panorama in Moscow, the Battle of Boronido, took about 10 years to complete. Mr Bhaumik said the plan of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama had already been cleared by the Chief Secretary and other senior officials of the state government.

The proposed panorama would be different from the “mahabharata” which displayed the battle of 18 days at a particular place. However, the panorama would re-create glimpses of battles of Maharaja Ranjit Singh spread over 40 years.

Giving details of the panorama, the Commissioner said it would be spread over 20 kanals in the prime land in the protected Ram Bagh. He said it would be 40 feet high while the area of the project would be around 400 feet where battles won by Maharaja Ranjit Singh would be displayed by a special digital process. The panorama would be a “great tribute to the legendry Maharaja”. In addition, the diorama (100-ft-long) would feature 200 characters, depicting “darbar” scenes of the Maharaja on occasions like Dasehra etc. The pictures are being re-created after consulting historians and most authentic pictures of Maharaja Ranjit Singh would be chosen. The Central Government has already approved Rs 5 crore for the project and the tenders have already been floated.

Mr Bir said the inputs by noted historians were being accepted with regard to the proposed panorama.

However, Mr Charanjit Singh Gumtala, president, Amritsar Vikas Manch, condemned the de-nouncation of the protected land for the proposed panorama. He said as per the Act no building could be constructed at the site, declared protected by the state government. He said the Improvement Trust had already earmarked the land for the panorama at “New Amritsar” and the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, had laid the foundation stone at the site. He said the protected area of Ram Bagh should not be disturbed which would be considered a violation of the Ancient Monuments Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 which prohibits construction within radius of 100m from the parametres of the protected sites.Back

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