Patiala’s oldest fort Qila Mubarak has seen decades change in front of it and has so grown old that it cannot tell its history anymore. Qila Mubarak, also know as Patiala Fort has been in a urgent need of renovation for a long time but it looks like as if nobody is really bothered about its weary appearance anymore.
Recently Punjab’s Finance Minister took up the responsibility of renovating the old marvel and investigated the reason behind the delay of the restoration work. It has been discovered by the Minister that a huge amount of funds granted by the Centre to complete the renovation are nowhere to be found.
The Funds for Patiala
The historical Patiala Fort or Qila Mubarak has been the official residence of the Patiala royals in the past. The Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage(Intach) took the command of restoring the old charm of the beautiful fort built in the 18th century.
The matter of Patiala Fort’s renovation got revealed after the change of government during the inspection of funds provided by the Centre under a special strategy to initiate the renovation work recently.
The Union Government issued an amount of Rs 45 crore, out what Rs 38 crore were for the fort and Rs 7 crore were for the Sheesh Mahal.
Where Did The Funds Go?
The Punjab government officials have asserted that the funds given by the Centre have been deflected to the finance development projects undertaken by former Punjab’s CM Prakash Singh Badal and hi son Sukhbir Singh during their ‘sangat darshan’ programmes.
Furthermore, Malvinder Singh, the representative of Intach and also the brother of Punjab’s latest CM Amarinder Singh also confirmed that funds are missing and are diverted. Malvinder Singh himself is keeping a close eye on the renovation job.
The amount of funds that have been averted have not yet been identified exactly. But the officials are very much certain about the fact that a huge chunk of money is missing.
Once begun the renovation work of the Patiala fort would take about five years to be completed. Right now, the three contractors who have been working to restore different parts of the Qila Mubarak like the main gate, guest house, the durbar hall, Qila Androon and other structures are still waiting for their payments to be cleared.
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