Saragarhi Memorial cries for facelift - ECAS Punjab

Saragarhi Memorial cries for facelift

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Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, September 11

Umpteen promises notwithstanding, the state government has failed to make any effort to beautify or develop the historic Saragarhi Memorial here. The monument was raised to pay homage to 22 valiant 36 Sikh Regiment soldiers of the British Indian Army who died fighting 10,000 Afridis during the Battle of Saragarhi on September 12, 1897, in North-West Frontier Province, now in Pakistan.

After The Tribune last year highlighted the failure of successive regimes to develop the memorial, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh sanctioned Rs 1 crore to develop the memorial, depicting the saga of unparalleled chivalry in the history of military warfare. However, due to procedural wrangles, development work never took off.

"For the past several years, promises have been made and statements issued by visiting dignitaries on giving a facelift to the memorial, but little has been done to develop this place into an international tourist attraction," says Charan Singh, a Kirti Chakra awardee. Top political leaders, including the CM, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, former Minister for Tourism and Cultural Affairs Navjot Singh Sidhu, Cabinet ministers Balbir Singh Sidhu, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and others, have claimed in the past of chalking out a comprehensive plan to develop the monument, but to no avail.

Two years ago, the CM had announced several projects to commemorate the memory of the martyrs. Navjot Singh Sidhu, too, had announced Rs 4 crore for its development. The previous SAD-BJP regime had made similar announcements but nothing concrete ever came out.

from The Tribune

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