Change in timing for farmers with land across the barbed fence not implemented either
On October 23,2010,Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had laid the foundation stone for the much hyped project to expand the visitors gallery at Hussainiwala joint check post (JCP),which was to cost Rs 6.22 crore. Four months after the ceremony,the project is yet to take off.
According to reports,the new visitors gallery will accommodate 3,000 people apart from many other facilities. But no construction work has started at the site.
The project file had been ready with the Border Security Force for the last one year,but they were waiting for the minister to lay the foundation stone. After the grand ceremony,it seems,the officials have forgotten about the project once again.
At present,the gallery can accommodate nearly 1,000 visitors who come to see the retreat ceremony. The gallery on the Pakistan side has nearly double the seating capacity. The Indian gallery can be seen packed to capacity on weekends and holidays. Looking at the enthusiasm,the BSF had planned the project,which was to include landscaping of the area,a canteen,toilets and a childrens park to attract more tourists.
As of now,a small park can be seen near the retreat ceremony venue,which is in dire need of regular maintenance. No rules have been enforced till now to stop the tourists from littering the place.
Confirming that the project has not been started as of now,DIG Ferozepur Range,Rakesh Gupta said: The project has been given to central public works department and the tendering process is on. It will take some more time for all the formalities to complete and the work to actually start on the ground.
When asked about the deadline,Gupta said: No deadline has been fixed as of now. But we will try to get it completed at the earliest.
When Chidambaram visited the JCP last year,he had also promised that the villagers who have land across the barbed wire near the international border could work in their fields from 6 am to 6 pm instead of the existing schedule of 8.30 am to 5 pm. Though the minister had announced the change in timings,no official notification followed. The farmers have now asked the BSF to take up the matter with the ministry again.