The Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Local Government Minister, Punjab, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu here today said that the Punjab Government would observe the martyrdom day of Shaheed-E-Azam S. Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Sukhdev and Shaheed Rajguru on 23rd March as the ‘Youth Empowerment Day’. The minister was inspecting the expansion project of Shaheed-E-Azam S. Bhagat Singh museum at village Khatkar Kalan today. The minister further elaborated that he would write to the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi requesting him to commemorate the 23rd March as ‘Youth Empowerment Day’ on National scale.
Mr. Sidhu added that Shaheed-E-Azam S. Bhagat Singh is a revered National Hero hence the Punjab Government considering him a youth icon, would institute ‘ Shaheed-E-Azam S. Bhagat Singh Award for Youth’.
Distributing the cheque worth Rs. 2 crore, sent by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for completing the expansion work of Shaheed-E-Azam S. Bhagat Singh museum, to the MLA Mr. Angad Saini and the E.O. Nawanshahar, the minister instructed the officials present to ensure the completion of all works related to the electrical equipments and the lights by 31st January. Earlier, the minister also paid homage at the statue of the martyr. He also divulged that he has also sought additional Rs. 8 crore from the Union Government for the beautification of the surroundings of the museum. Apart from this, the minister also directed the Secretary, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Mr. Vikas Pratap to complete light and sound works by the 15th February. He also said that the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh would dedicate the museum to public on 23rdMarch. The minister emphasized that the expansion work be completed within the fixed timeframe and no laxity in this regard would be tolerated.
Mr. Sidhu also announced Rs. 5 lakh for constructing a toilet block for the convenience of tourists near the ancestral house of the martyr at village Khatkar Kalan.
Interacting with the mediapersons on the occasion, the minister said that a cafeteria plus a toilet block would also come up at the Shaheed-E-Azam S. Bhagat Singh museum keeping in view the large number of tourist footfall so as to make sure that tourists visiting various galleries dedicated to the freedom struggle should not face any problem. The minister also directed to make arrangements for the stoppage of every bus at Khatkar Kalan on 23rd March considering the large number of people visiting the place on the martyrdom day. On the issue of some articles associated with the martyr not returned after being sent for display in an exhibition in New Delhi, Mr. Sidhu assured their return after getting the verification done.
The minister further disclosed that in order to make the available the jail diary of Shaheed-E-Azam S. Bhagat Singh free of cost in all the schools of the State, he is in touch with Mr. Abhay Singh Sandhu the nephew of the martyr. For this purpose, the minister revealed that he would give Rs. 25 lakh from his department.
Directing the entire 4 Municipal Councils of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district to reserve half percent cess each in their respective budgets for better maintenance of the Ancestral house of the martyr at Khatkar Kalan, Park and Museum Mr. Sidhu said that this measure would ensure that no stone is left unturned in the proper maintenance of the places.
The minister on the issue of entertainment tax levied in advance from the cable consumers, said that this tax would be levied only after the bill is passed in the Vidhan Sabha so as of now the cable operators cannot levy it right now. He emphasized submitting complaints to the district authorities.
Among others present on the occasion included MLA Nawanshahar Mr. Angad Singh, MLA Balachaur Chaudhary Darshan Lal Mangupur, Secretary Tourism & Cultural Affairs Department Mr. Vikas Pratap, Director Mr. Shivdular Singh Dhillon, Deputy Commissioner Mr. Amit Kumar, Commissioner Municipal Corporation Amritsar Mrs. Sonali Giri, SDM Banga Mr. Aditya Uppal and President of Municipal Council Nawanshahar Mr. Lalit Mohan Pathak.