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Punjab

Posted at: Sep 16, 2019, 6:39 AM; last updated: Sep 16, 2019, 8:46 AM (IST)550TH GURPURB

State scales up budget, to spend Rs 425 cr now

More projects for Sultanpur Lodhi; light & sound shows, exhibitions on Sikh history on cards

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15

The state government has opened its coffers to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak from November 1. The government is expected to spend a whopping Rs 425 crore on the mega event.

With barely two months left for the Gurpurb, a media blitz has been launched across the country to popularise the event. Hoardings, LED screens and other advertising is being used in and around important gurdwaras across the country and a concerted social media campaign has been launched.

Initially, the Capt Amarinder government had earmarked Rs 325 crore for the festivities, but official sources have told The Tribune that they are hiking the budget.

More infrastructure projects leading to Sultanpur Lodhi are coming up; more funds are being allocated for the municipal council of Sultanpur Lodhi, the town will be beautified and Gurdwara Ber Sahib will have a new façade. Besides, three tent cities and exhibitions on Sikh history are being planned.

This additional expenditure is being borne by the state government. Vikas Pratap, Principal Secretary, Tourism, and nodal officer for the event, told The Tribune that three kinds of light and sound shows were also being planned. “One will be a static show to be shown at Sultanpur Lodhi from November 3-15; second to be shown on river and canals of Punjab, and third an all terrain show on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev that will travel to different places of Punjab,” he added.

Government officials say they are expecting the Centre to give a grant of Rs 270 crore (through Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) for giving a heritage city status to Sultanpur Lodhi, but this will take some time to come.

Meanwhile, in order to make the younger generation aware about the life and teachings of Guru Nanak, besides educating them about the history, biography and Four Udasis (spiritual tours) of the Guru, the PR department has got prepared a special series of four episodes dedicated to Guru Nanak, which will be broadcasted on TV channels and other online platforms.

Senu Duggal, additional director, said they had also got recorded 12 one-minute videos from different gurdwaras, established on sites visited by the Guru.

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