5 years on, Nurpur memorial work yet to start, ex-servicemen upset : The Tribune India

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5 years on, Nurpur memorial work yet to start, ex-servicemen upset

Was unveiled in 2019 despite no land being earmarked for project

5 years on, Nurpur memorial work yet to start, ex-servicemen upset

The foundation stone of the war memorial at the Irrigation-cum-Public Health Department premises in Nurpur. Tribune photo



Rajiv Mahajan

Nurpur, April 3

In order to recognise the sacrifices of the valiant soldiers of lower Kangra, the previous Jai Ram-led government had proposed a war memorial in Nurpur over five years ago. Then Sainik Welfare and Irrigation & Public Health Minister Mahender Singh had laid the foundation stone of the memorial on the premises of the office of Superintending Engineer, IPH, Nurpur, on March 2, 2019, with much fanfare.

However, even after about half a decade, no work has been started for the memorial, while its foundation stone collects dust.

Ex-servicemen await memorial

  • Then Sainik Welfare and Irrigation & Public Health Minister Mahender Singh had laid the foundation stone of the memorial on the premises of the office of Superintending Engineer, IPH, Nurpur, on March 2, 2019, with much fanfare.
  • However, even after about half a decade, no work has been started for the memorial, while its foundation stone collects dust.
  • Enquiries revealed that at the time of the stone-laying ceremony, no land had been identified. The minister had, however, announced that Rs 80 lakh had been earmarked for the project, which was set to be completed in one year.
  • In 2021, the government had identified land near Nurpur Public School here in Ward 2.
  • A lot of resentment has been brewing among the ex-servicemen in the area over the seemingly nonchalant attitude of the successive government regarding breaking ground for the memorial.

Enquiries revealed that at the time of the stone-laying ceremony, no land had been identified. The minister had, however, announced that Rs 80 lakh had been earmarked for the project, which was set to be completed in one year.

In 2021, the government had identified land near Nurpur Public School here in Ward 2.

A lot of resentment has been brewing among the ex-servicemen in the area over the seemingly nonchalant attitude of the successive government regarding breaking ground for the memorial.

As many as 9,500 ex-servicemen with 30,000 dependents currently live in lower Kangra — Nurpur, Jawali, Fatehpur and Indora subdivisions.

The Ex-servicemen League (Nurpur) raised this issue with the state Sainik Welfare Board and then Sainik Welfare Minister Mahender Singh, to no avail.

Colonel NS Pathania (Retd), chairman of the Ex-Servicemen League (Nurpur), said the foundation stone of the war memorial had been laid in haste without procuring or transferring any land in the name of the Sainik Welfare Board. He alleged that this played with the sentiments of thousands of ex-servicemen of lower Kangra. “Why was the foundation stone laid in a government office’s premises when no land was available,” he questioned.

Colonel KS Chahal (Retd), Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare Board, Dharamsala, said the land identified for the construction of the war memorial had been transferred in the name of the board after receiving the requisite nod under the Forest Conservation Act.

He would raise the demand to start the construction of the memorial with the state government after the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, he added.

#Kangra #Nurpur


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