Even after one year, historic jail renovation where Nehru was kept yet to get the show on the road
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
The iconic, infamous Nabha’s historic and maximum-security jail, which has been a witness to history over a century now, is waiting for its renovation for the last one year.
This Punjab’s historic jail where first prime minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru was kept during the freedom struggle days may miss Centenary commemoration event.
As per available information “Nehru was arrested along with K Santanam and AT Gidwani on September 22, 1923, for defying an order banning entry into the princely state of Nabha. Nehru was kept for around two weeks in the Nabha jail. Nehru was released from the Nabha jail only after he signed a bond that he would never enter the princely state again.”
The same jail has witness the infamous “Jail break” in November 27, 2016, is being vacated of inmates in December 2021, with the Punjab prisons department deciding to renovate the building.
But, the department’s only progress in one year is that they had demolished the Deoadi, Langar Hall and Hospital portion of the historic “Maximum Security Jail’, Nabha, a British era prison, where freedom fighters, including the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, were locked up in September 1923.
When contacted the IG Prisons Roop Kumar over the delay in start of renovation even after one year, he said “it’s in the tendering process.”
Deputy Superintendent of Jails Jaspal Singh Khaira added”a petrol pump outside the maximum security jail is also coming up and the work on this is going on along with the demolition of unsafe structures .”
As per the plan, the Punjab prisons department had mooted to renovate the British era prison before September 2023 on the centenary of locking up of the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was locked up in September 1923. With just nine-ten months left, it seems difficult for the prison department to complete the renovation work by September 2023.
As per available information, the renovation project has a budget of Rs 25 crore. The jail has 40 cells and barracks and can accommodate 450 inmates. It has been overcrowded for long and has been housing 750 prisoners.
Over 750 prisoners, including hardcore and dreaded criminals were lodged here before the start of the renovation work, are being shifted to Bathinda, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Patiala, sangrur jails. The jail staff was shifted to Goindwal Sahib jail.
“The jail will be equipped with modern and updated security features, post the renovation. The department proposes to construct 60 new cells in place of the old barracks” said an official of the prison department.