Deol’s heritage tag demand for Kalanaur sites infructuous: Govt - ECAS Punjab

Deol’s heritage tag demand for Kalanaur sites infructuous: Govt

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Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Kalanaur (Gurdaspur), Sept 20

While Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol has sought 'heritage status' for certain landmarks in the historic township of Kalanaur, the Punjab Government equated his efforts as akin to "old wine in new bottle".

The town falls in the assembly seat of Dera Baba Nanak, represented by Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who claimed that the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) had already sanctioned Rs 7 crore for conserving three landmarks in the town, thereby rendering the MP's plea as "infructuous" in nature.

'CLASSIC CASE OF OLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLE'

The MP was informed the ASI conserves and preserves only important sites and not townships in their entirety. How can he take credit for projects which have been undertaken by the state government? It is a classic case of old wine in new bottle. - Sukhjinder Randhawa, Cabinet Minister

A spokesman said the funds had been sanctioned from a Rs 100-crore grant given by the Central Government to the Punjab Government.

Randhawa said: "The money is lying with the state government. It is just that some teething problems have surfaced. The ASI and the state government have already started work to classify the ancient Shiv temple and Banda Singh Bahadur Gurdwara as heritage sites while the work on Emperor Akbar's coronation platform will commence soon. The actor should cross-check his facts before going public with them."

The minister said he had information that Deol, on February 25, 2019, had written to Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel, urging him to declare the entire township of Kalanaur as a 'heritage town.'

"The MP's request remained in cold storage for nearly 18 months, as his letter got stuck in bureaucratic wrangling. On August 6 this year, Patel finally replied to Deol, expressing inability to get 'an entire township declared as a heritage site'. The MP was instead informed that the ASI conserves and preserves only important sites and not townships in their entirety. How can the MP take credit for projects which have been undertaken by the Punjab Government? It is a classic case of old wine in new bottle," Randhawa added.

Pankaj Joshi, Deol's PA, said: "If the ASI has given grants to the state government, why is the money not being spent? We regularly receive representations from Kalanaur residents that the condition of the historical sites is going from bad to worse. That is why we approached the Cultural affairs ministry."



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3ch7sS1

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