Rs 2 crore for ceremony in Khatkar Kalan, but park's power bills unpaid : The Tribune India

Rs 2 crore for ceremony in Khatkar Kalan, but park's power bills unpaid

Rs1.7L due since Nov 2019 | Villagers pitch in to help staff

Rs 2 crore for ceremony in Khatkar Kalan, but park's power bills unpaid

The memorial park near Bhagat Singh's ancestral home. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, March 13

Even as over Rs 2 crore is being spent on the swearing-in ceremony of the Bhagwant Mann government at Khatkar Kalan, locals hope the AAP government will finally wake up and pay the pending power bills of the memorial park adjoining the martyr’s ancestral house at the village.

Power bills amounting to Rs 1.7 lakh of the memorial park haven’t been paid for the past over two years. The bills are pending since November 2019.

While the power bills of the Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Memorial Museum and the ancestral house have been cleared, the park remains ignored even as Khatkar Kalan readies to host the CM-designate on March 16.

Reminders unheeded

We have been sending monthly reminders, but to no avail. The park has

50-70 kW supply for four motors to run fountain. Atma Ram, SDO, Power department, Banga

Dues will be cleared

We have taken up the issue with the Tourism Department and the outstanding amount will be paid at the earliest. —Navneet Bal, Kapurthala SDM

Sources say unable to afford adequate staff, there have been layoffs in the past and staff salaries often get delayed. Villagers say they have pitched in to help the memorial and ancestral home staff during paucity of funds.

Gurjit Singh, president, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Welfare Society, Khatkar Kalan, said: “We are happy the swearing-in ceremony is happening here and hope the memorial will get its due attention. If Rs 2 crore is being spent on the ceremony, some amount can easily be set aside for the memorial’s upkeep. We hope this special focus of the new government is not limited to special occasions only.”

He added: “The lawnmower for the park worth Rs 30,000 was provided by villagers. We even arranged brooms. Recently, a request for provision of a pump to drain out excess water from the fountain also came to the villagers. The government must make these arrangements. A neighbouring Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Library also remains closed. The villagers chip in when they can, but the government should make sure an annual budget covers all the needs of the memorial and park.”

Congress leader Navjot Sidhu had donated Rs 2.5 lakh for the pending bills of the ancestral home two years ago. Some lights and motors have also stopped working over time. Atma Ram, SDO, Power Department, Banga, said: “Power bills worth Rs 1.70 lakh are pending since November 2019. We have been sending monthly reminders to the government. The park has a 50-70 kW medium supply connection for four motors to run the fountain.”

SDM Navneet Bal said: “A little over Rs 1.5 lakh worth of bills remain pending. We have taken up the issue with the Tourism Department and the outstanding amount will be paid at the earliest.”

#khatkar kalan #shaheed bhagat singh

Tribune Shorts


Top News

Exit Polls LIVE Updates: Pollsters predict who will win Gujarat, Himachal

Exit Polls LIVE Updates: BJP predicted to retain Gujarat, close contest in Himachal

Voting for final phase of Gujarat polls ends, counting of vo...

Centre wants Delhi-Centre power row to be referred to larger Supreme Court bench

Centre wants Delhi-Centre power row to be referred to larger Supreme Court bench

The Delhi govt opposes the Centre's plea saying it will only...

2 men desecrate village gurdwara in Punjab’s Jalandhar

2 men desecrate village gurdwara in Punjab's Jalandhar

According to CCTV footage, the two men enter the gurdwara an...


Cities

View All