Jallianwala Bagh revamp going on war footing

JBThe renovation and modernisation of the historic Jallianwala Bagh is going on a war footing as the restoration of bullet marks on the three walls of the bagh, flooring of the “samadhi” and construction of the plaza at the entrance have alt been completed.

Giving the details, ITDC’s site engineer said the green stone on the smadhi had been replaced by a redsat stone, which had helped in giving heritage look to the monument. There were 94 bullet marks on various walls of the bagh, which were being repaired very carefully.

He said they were also repairing the walls around the monument, which had been damaged by the construction activities carried out by residents from time to time. He said the whole work was time consuming and they had to take into account even minor details while carrying out the repair work.

The ambitious project was proposed by Maninderjit Singh Bitta, the then president of the Indian Youth Congress to former Prime Minister P.V. Narsimha Rao. However, the project could see the light of the day only after a high-level meeting of the board of trustees was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The district administration had recently demolished about half a dozen shops located adjacent to the main entrance to provide a separate entrance and exit facility to visitors as the narrow lane, through which the British troops had entered the bagh in 1919, used to get too congested with increase in the number of visitors.

Kahan Singh Pannu said the main aim behind this was to make a separate entry to the hall where the visitors could know about the history of the national monument through media presentation and then they would proceed to other areas. He said the project would be completed before April 13 next, however he hastened to add that the if the work continued at the same pace, they were hopeful of completing the work by December end.The beautification plan costing about Rs 5 crore has been undertaken at the behest of the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) for the beautification, cleanliness and renovation of the memorial site to develop it as a world-class monument. The plan envisaged demolition of all encroachments that had come up around the bagh, such as the construction of windows and other structures by the residents on the periphery of the boundary line.

The project also include the start of a light and sound programme everyday in the evening in order to familiarise the tourists with the various facets of the April 13, 1919 tragedy in which hundreds of people lost their lives. The project also include making of videos and CDs of the proposed light and sound show and distribute it throughout the country as part of an awareness campaign.

One of the paintings in the present museum depicting the Jallianwala Bagh massacre has been also been sent for a redo as the colours on it have faded and is likely to be reinstalled at its original site soon.

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