Taking serious note of the work related to the memorial of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and museum pending since 8 years at his ancestral village Khatkar Kalan, the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu paid a special visit to the village along with the senior officials and himself took stock of the project. After inspecting the project, the minister announced that the memorial as well as the museum would be completed by 23rd March, 2018 i.e. the martyrdom day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. He also said that the directions have been issued to the department in this regard.Interacting with the media-persons on the occasion, the minister said that the martyrs are an inspiration to the people of the nation but it is very unfortunate that the previous regime faltered in its duty to protect the heritage of the martyrs. He further said that the work pertaining to the memorial of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and museum was started in 2009 during the tenure of previous government and it was to be completed by 2011 but it is still incomplete even after 6 years of the deadline fixed. He assured after consulting the Director, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Mr. Shivdular Singh Dhillon on the spot that this project would now be under his personal supervision and would be dedicated to the country by 23rd March, 2018. He also assured that no dearth of funds would be allowed to become a stumbling block with regard to the project.
Divulging more, Mr. Sidhu said that a tourism policy is being prepared by his department with an intent to develop the historical places connected with the martyrs as tourist spots. Going further, he said that under the proposed tourist circuits the places having links with the martyrs would be connected which would be beneficial for the tourists from country and abroad. He also said that Shaheed Bhagat Singh was an institution who would continue to inspire generation after generation. The minister also disclosed that he is greatly influenced by Shaheed Bhagat Singh since his childhood and his mother used to recite stories about Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh and his uncle S. Ajit Singh to inspire him which explains why he paid homage to the martyrs memorial at Hussainiwala after becoming minister and now at Khatkar Kalan. He also said that he has though he has often visited the hallowed spot earlier but since this is the first time he has come here as a minister, his responsibility increases all the more.
On being asked by the media about the non-payment of the electricity bill of the ancestral house of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the park adjoining it , the minister decided to pay the bill on the spot from from his own pocket and immidiately wrote out a cheque of Rs. 2.50 lakh in name of PSPCL from his personal account and handed it over to the Deputy Commissioner Mrs. Sonali Giri. He also elaborated that keeping in view the facilitation of the tourists, he would take up the matter of starting special buses for Khatkar Kalan and soppage of long route buses at the village with the department concerned. He also added that he would make a permanent arrangement concerning approach road to the newly coming up memorial and museum,park, ensuring cleanliness & maintenance of memorial and paying electricity bills so as to not let any problems occur in future.
Earlier, the minister paid floral tributes at the statues of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev and at the memorial of S. Bhagat Singh’s father S. KIshan Singh at Khatkar Kalan. He also visited the old museum and the new one being constructed. While visiting the ancestral house of Shaheed-e-Azam, the minister very keenly saw the articles connected with the martyr and also paid a visit to the park adjoining the house. The minister described Shaheed-e-Azam as his biggest inspiration and vowed to follow the path illuminated by the martyr while writing in the visitor’s book at the memorial and the museum.Regarding the development centric works in the cities, Mr. Sidhu said that after approval in the municipal corporations, the modified estimates would be prepared of the municipal councils in the State and the grants would be released soon.Earlier, the minister was accored ‘Guard of Honour’ by the contingent of the district police on reaching the office of SDM Banga. At the same place, Mr. Sidhu also paid floral tributes at the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary.On the occasion, MLA Mr. Pargat Singh, MLA Balachaur Chaudhary Darshan Lal Mangupur, Director Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Punjab, Mr. Shivdular Singh Dhillon, Deputy Commissioner Mrs. Sonali Giri, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Ranjit Kaur, SP Mr. Jasvir Singh Rai and SDM Banga Mr. Harcharan Singh were also present.