Charanjit Singh Teja
Amritsar, September 12
On the complaint of a social activist, PC Sharma (a lawyer), demanding the removal of infrastructure and a ban on the serving of alcohol at Amritsar Club, Service Club and Lumsden Club, all located inside Ram Bagh, a monument protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains Act, 1958, and Rule 1959 by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar, has now asked elite clubs to respond in this regard.
The Amritsar Municipal Corporation has failed to stop the sale of alcohol in the historic Ram Bagh (company garden) for the past four years.
The DC office wrote to the clubs for their remarks.
On December 4, 2018, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) submitted an agreement to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana (HC) regarding the custody and operation of the historic Ram Bagh. The MC had agreed to immediately remove several buildings and encroachments, including offices and food kiosks, from the garden.
Commissioner MC mentioned in the agreement that the waste of water produced by these clubs affected the environment and the monument. According to the agreement, all commercial activities, including the service of alcohol, were supposed to be prohibited by the MC. Even after four years, the MC has not taken any initiative to implement the terms of the agreement. No encroachment has been removed and the clubs also sell alcohol.
The lease term of all these clubs had ended 31 years ago in 1991. But with political and bureaucratic support, the clubs remain inside Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s historic garden. During the Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh, Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu was in favor of running the three clubs inside the Garden and publicly announced that the MC would help them stay in the Garden as Capt Amarinder wanted that the clubs remain in the history. garden.
Efforts have been made by local NGOs and activists to stop the sale of alcohol in the past, but local government officials have taken no concrete action.
“The removal of clubs from the garden is a separate issue. We focus on the implementation of the agreement between MC and ASI. Encroachments and MC infrastructure must be removed. Alcohol should be stopped as it is clearly mentioned in the agreement. I have also written to the Excise Department to revoke their licenses as this is a breach of the agreement between the President of India and the Governor of Punjab,” the social activist said.