Guru Nanak museum at Sultanpur Lodhi runs into roadblocks - Hindustan Times
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Guru Nanak museum at Sultanpur Lodhi runs into roadblocks

By, Jalandhar
Nov 25, 2022 01:04 AM IST

Land for the museum has been found 8 acres lesser than previously identified 45 acres; farmers are also demanding higher compensation for acquisition

Hanging fire for the past three years, the much-anticipated Guru Nanak museum at Sultanpur Lodhi, Pind Babe Nanak Da, is set to be delayed further.

A revenue official said the SDM in her report found that the 43 acres identified for the project in Machhijoya and Tarafhazi was in fact only 35 acres. (HT File Photo)
A revenue official said the SDM in her report found that the 43 acres identified for the project in Machhijoya and Tarafhazi was in fact only 35 acres. (HT File Photo)

Set in motion just two weeks ago with the Kapurthala deputy commissioner transferring 30 crore for land acquisition, the project has already run into hurdles, as the local administration has found the land for the museum eight acres lesser than originally identified.

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Earlier identified as 43 acres, the land for the project has turned out to be only 35 acres, prompting the Kapurthala administration to seek fresh guidelines from the Punjab government for the museum, according to a senior revenue official in Sultanpur Lodhi.

Sultanpur Lodhi sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Chandra Jyoti Singh, who has been tasked with land acquisition, has also written to Kapurthala deputy commissioner Vishesh Sarangal in this regard.

The revenue official said the SDM in her report found that the 43 acres identified for the project in Machhijoya and Tarafhazi was in fact only 35 acres.

According to the report, as per the proposal, 14 acres of the land was situated on the front road in Macchijoya village, but as per records, the piece of land was only 4.5 acres, 9.5 acres less than the proposal. “In all, 26 acres of land is in Machhijoya and 9 acres in Tarafhazi, a total of 35 acres,” the report said, as per the revenue official.

Farmers want compensation in line with revised collector rates

In more trouble for the administration, the farmers have refused to give their land for the project at the previously proposed compensation of 54 lakh per acre.

The SDM highlighted in her report that in 2020-21, the collector rate was 20 lakh per acre in Machhijoya village and 5.40 lakh per acre in Tarafhazi. But since then, there has been 15% increase in the collector rate in both villages. Consequently, farmers are now demanding a higher compensation.

“It will take some more time to verify the land and make land owners agree on the proposed compensation rate. It is hereby requested to get new guidelines from the Punjab government for a fresh start of the project so that it will be completed as soon as possible,” the SDM said in her report.

Another revenue official, seeking anonymity, said the government must fix responsibility of officials who were involved in the land identification process, as their laxity had delayed the work on the museum.

Refusing to divulge more details, deputy commissioner Vishesh Sarangal said they will take up the matter with the state government.

Project announced in 2019

Being funded by the central government, the museum was first announced by the Punjab government on the first Sikh master’s 550th birth anniversary in 2019.

A year later, in August 2020, the state government had constituted a seven-member committee to finalise the concept note for the museum, which as per the committee, will be a replica of Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi in Pakistan, the village where Guru Nanak was born.

The committee had also prepared the concept for Pind Babe Nanak Da heritage village. According to the panel, the exterior of the village will be made of mud on the lines of the 400-year-old Pakistan village. The interior, however, will be studded with modern technology, depicting Guru Nanak’s life between 1469 and 1539.

Central government’s in-principle approval for setting up the museum has been in since April last year.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    A staff correspondent, based in Jalandhar covers Doaba Region of Punjab. Reports about Punjab Police, Enforcement Directorate, politics, corruption, legal, rural areas, socio-economic issues and technical education besides having specialisation in the investigative stories.

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