Bathinda MC’s term coming to end, development works hanging fire

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 14

The term of the municipal corporation (headed by SAD-BJP) is coming to end next month, but the project to develop important historical places in the city such as Quila Mubarak, Hazi Rattan Gurdwara and Hazi Rattan Masjid on the pattern of Heritage Street has failed to see any progress till date.

In December 2016, ahead of the Vidhan Sabha elections, SAD councillor Sham Lal Jain had urged the MC to undertake the project at the General House meeting, after which other councillors lent their support to the plan. The Mayor had then written a letter to the state government demanding funds for the project.

Under the project, important places, including Qila Mubarak, Hazi Rattan Gurdwara and Hazi Rattan Masjid, were to be beautified on the pattern of the heritage walk in Amritsar. An MCB official, on condition of anonymity, said the MC’s economic condition was not good due to which the civic body had to rely on the funds from the state government.

Satish Aroroa, president of the Punjab Hotel, Restaurant and Resort Association, said, “The state government should show interest in reviving places of religious and historic importance in the city as it would give a boost to tourism. We will give full support to the MCB for the project. It will also connect the younger generation with the rich heritage and history of our city.” Mayor Balwant Rai Nath said, “We had written a letter to the state government for grant for this project, but we did not get any reply.”

Moreover, Finance Minister and local MLA Manpreet Singh Badal had also announced Rs 13 crore for the beautification of Quila Mubarak in his maiden Budget speech in 2017, but work on this failed to start as it was a heritage site, which is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), due to which the state government’s money could not be used for it.

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