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Posted at: Apr 18, 2017, 12:57 AM; last updated: Apr 18, 2017, 12:57 AM (IST)

Martyrs’ statues in Palampur face neglect for want of funds

Ravinder Sood

Palampur, April 17

The statues of martyrs — Capt Vikram Batra and Major Som Nath Sharma, both Paramvir Chakra recipients — are in a state of neglect. The statues installed on the premises of the Municipal Complex and Captain Vikram Batra Stadium are mostly covered with spider webs and bird faeces. Cracks have occurred in the marble and granite platform.

The statue of Capt Vikram Batra PVC, who sacrificed his life in the Kargil War, was installed 10 years ago. The then Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh had announced that the statue would be maintained by the state government. However, the deparments concerned are shirking responsibility to maintain the statue citing non-availability of funds.

Deeply hurt over poor maintenance, Girdhari Lal Batra, father of Capt Vikram Batra, himself cleaned the statue on Saturday on the occasion of Himachal Day. Talking to The Tribune, the martyr’s father offered to maintain the statue if the state government was unable to do so.

Ajit Bhardwaj, SDM Palampur, said the DC (Kangra) had submitted a detailed estimate on the funds required for the maintenance of the statues eight months ago to the Director, Department of Language and Culture. But the funds have not been released as yet, he said.

The SDM said the MC maintained the statues on its own until now. But in the absence of funds they were unable to do so.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Shanta Kumar demanded the CM to intervene in the matter. He said the government must stop humiliating the families of the martyrs.

He said if rules permit, he would release an amount from the MPLAD funds for the upkeep of both the statues.


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