Amritsar: Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal will promote Punjab as a tourist destination at the two-day Heart of Asia conference which begins here today.
He is keen to promote the culture of the state before the delegates from different countries and one centre of attraction is the Heritage Street running from Town Hall building to the Golden Temple Plaza.
The one kilometre stretch of Heritage Street begins at the old Town Hall building, which now houses the Partition Museum, goes towards Jallianwala Bagh and up to the Golden Temple.
Bright lamp posts, buildings with Rajputana and Mughal architectural domes and jharokhas, LED lights illuminate the facades. The signboards for all shops have been aesthetically unified like the markets of Jaipur.
“The heritage street project was completed in a record time. This is not the end of the project. It is just a beginning of the total beautification and transformation which the holy city would witness during the course of next five years,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.
The Punjab Tourism and Heritage Promotion Board had announced a competition for architects to revamp the Golden plaza three years ago. The area was then developed as an urban space where pilgrims could congregate.
The project, besides the ‘jaali work’ facades and the Town Hall renovation, also includes work on the complex sanitation and electrical systems. All wires, which were overhead earlier, have been channelled through an underground tunnel.
The project includes the revamping of sarais along the old Grand Trunk Road and would amount to over Rs 1,000 crore, Navjotpal Singh Randhawa, CEO of the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation, said.
The project, however, did not come without its challenges, especially from resistant shopkeepers. The street has a greater presence of the police and is devoid of any wandering hawkers or large crowds.
Being attended by nearly 40 countries and leading groupings like the European Union, the annual conference of the Heart of Asia — Istanbul Process will deliberate upon various challenges facing Afghanistan, including revival of a peace process in the conflict-ridden country. PTI
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