Amritsar, December 21
Residents and activists have condemned the proposed move of the government and the Municipal Corporation to hand over the historic Ram Bagh to the clubs inside the garden.
The state government and the MC have filed an application to grant permanent permission to the clubs ignoring the fact that the issue of eviction is sub-judice and pending before the court.
Office-bearers of the Amritsar Vikas Manch condemned the Punjab Government and Amritsar Municipal Corporation, who are bent on handing over the heritage, historical and ancient protected monument Ram Bagh, popularly known as Company Bagh, to the three clubs — Amritsar Club, Service Club and Lumsden Club.
These clubs have already encroached upon a major part of the historical Ram Bagh illegally for decades.
It is worth mentioning here that the lease term of these three clubs expired decades ago and they are not paying any lease money to the MCA, as per the information procured through an RTI query.
“At present, the custodian of the garden is the MC. But instead of developing the garden as an attractive tourist place, the state-level and local politicians governing the MC are trying to sanction permanent lease to the clubs. This attempt of the politicians has been termed as ‘unaesthetic’ by the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” said Kulwant Singh Ankhi of the Amritsar Vikas Manch.
“Owing to the apathetic attitude of the MC, a major part of the garden is on the verge of destruction. The AVM is urging the Mayor and Local Bodies Minister to protect and develop the garden, the precious heritage of the holy city according to international standards,” said Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala, another office-bearer of the AVM.
The garden was established on the pattern of Shalimar Bagh of Lahore by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1819.