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Town in Focus: Bilaspur

Town in Focus:  Bilaspur, naya haryana, नया हरियाणा

12th September 2014

Naya Haryana

Bilaspur is a Tehsil and sub divisional headquarter in Yamunanagar district of Haryana. It has a population of 2.93 lakh. There are three sub-tehsils under its jurisdiction and include Radaur, Sadaura and Mustafabad. The Arpa River flows through the town.

Places of interest

Bilaspur is an ancient town and legend has it that Maharishi Ved Vyas, the author of the famous epic Mahabharat, wrote the epic next to a pond here. The area is now called Kapalmochan and is a much revered destination for Hindu pilgrims from all over the country. There is a statue of Uma Mahadev here and is said to go back to the 9th century. There is also a statue of Lord Ganesha that is said to go back to the 11th century. Lots of ancient artifacts have been found here that go back to the Gupta period, making this place significant for both, religious, as well as, archaeological tourism.

Kapalmochan has three holy ponds or kund as it is locally called and they are Rinmochan, Kapalmochan, and Surya Kund. There is an annual mela organised here that is attended by lakhs of pilgrims who visit to take a bath in the holy kund and wash away their past sins.

In the vicinity, is a Gurudwara dedicated to the tenth guru and is very popular among Sikh devotees who come from all over the country.

Wasted potential

Given that Bilaspur is extremely popular among both the Hindus and Sikhs and the fact that it draws devotees from all over India, it is surprising to see that the state government has not seized the opportunity to further develop and promote Bilaspur as a tourist destination. In fact, this has been a long standing demand of the local people. One visit to Bilaspur and you see a town of neglect and lacking in basic infrastructure to support tourism. Barring the odd Haryana Tourism hotel, there are very few good quality hotel accommodation available. This along with poor roads, poor dining and toilet facilities and lack of good roads, all contribute to holding back Bilaspur's true potential as a tourist destination. And the government has to take blame for this.

If the Hooda administration could declare Bilaspur a tehsil in 2008 and make it the sub divisional headquarter, then surely it must also have been aware of its potential as a tourist destination? So what held back the Chief Minister from declaring Bilaspur a tourist destination? Why has there been no attempt to invest and develop the area and bring it as part of the tourist circuit in the area. After all, there are enough tourist spots in the region to support a circuit.

Town in neglect

Keeping in mind sensitivities of the Hindus and Sikhs, the state government could have invested in maintaining the Kapalmochan area. The lake itself requires upgradation and maintenance, especially in light of the fact that thousands gather here to take a holy dip in the three kunds. The localities in the vicinity too are poorly maintained. The street lighting is inadequate and many non-functional. The streets are not regularly maintained and many areas remain filthy.

In addition to the above, the town suffers for the usual problems faced by all areas of Haryana. The power situation is bad and this is despite having an NTPC Power Plant nearby.

Given the rise in population, the healthcare services have not kept pace. Bilaspur has poor infrastructure for healthcare and the local people have to go to Yamunanagar or Ambala for treatment. The local people have been pleading for a long time with the state government to improve the services here but the government has been busy with other priorities. Between Bilaspur and the three sub-tehsils, the population is well above 9 lakh and therefore, the demand for an upgradation of healthcare facilities is perfectly justified. But where is the Hooda administration?

Bilaspur is also suffering from poor quality of almost all civic amenities that is supposed to be provided by the government. The people have waited in hope for ten long years but there has been very little change. In fact, the situation has become worse given the rapid rise in population. The people have realised that if they want things to improve they will have to bring in a Nayi Soch.

They are now placing their faith on a Naya Haryana. Change is about to happen.


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