Chandigarh, February 22: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday virtually laid foundation stones and inaugurated a slew of projects worth Rs.1087 crores for holistic development of urban areas under the Smart City and AMRUT schemes and urged the union government to include the holy city of Anandpur Sahib under the Smart City scheme, as a tribute to Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji on his 400th Prakash Purab.
Thanking the people of the state for their overwhelming support to the Congress party in the recently concluded Civic elections, Captain Amarinder said the mandate is a vindication of the pro-people policies of his government. Pointing out that while the Congress had won 1410 of the 2206 wards (64%), the chief minister said all the opposition parties had been decimated because of their anti-people and vicious negative agendas. He lambasted the earlier Akali-BJP regime for ignoring the development of urban areas and expressed confidence that the launch of these projects will drive sustainable progress in these regions.
The chief minister said that he was particularly delighted today to lay the foundation stone of the Rs. 721 crore Surface Water Supply Scheme for Amritsar city, his erstwhile Parliamentary constituency. He said this scheme would ensure access to clean drinking water to the residents of the holy city, instead of the contaminated and fast depleting ground water.
The chief minister said under the first phase of Urban Infrastructure Improvement Program (UIIP), 2065 projects have been started, with majority being completed, at a cost of Rs.300 crores. He said another 4227 projects have been approved under the second phase and work on 1300 of them has already started.
Giving details of the progress of Smart City projects in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Sultanpur Lodhi under his government, Captain Amarinder said that of the total allocation of Rs.3000 crores, works worth Rs.1246 crores had been started or completed so far. He said while tenders for works worth Rs.918 crores had already been issued, the process of issuing tenders for works worth Rs.802 crores were already underway. The chief minister said in contrast to this SAD-BJP regime (2007-17) had merely spent Rs 35 crores during their decade long rule under this scheme.
He said his government had already allocated Rs 2785 crores under the AMRUT scheme for 16 towns and work on projects worth Rs 2740 crores was underway. Taking a dig at the Akali-BJP combine, the Chief Minister said, “they totally ignored this scheme and spent merely Rs 18 crores in 10 years of their rule”. He said the scheme aims at providing 100% Water Supply & Sewerage and so far 1072 Km of Water Supply and 698 Km of Sewerage pipelines had been laid, besides the release of 69,304 Household Water Supply and 43,611 Household Sewerage connections.
The projects that were inaugurated by the Chief Minister for Barnala included augmentation & rehabilitation of sewerage network and sewage treatment plant for 100% coverage, 74 Km Sewerage Line with 5740 Household Sewerage Connections and 20 MLD Sewerage Treatment Plant at a cost of Rs. 105.63 crores. The holy city of Amritsar saw the inauguration of various development projects of Rs.20.50 crore including upgradation of Fire Fighting Services, Solid Waste Management Facilities and Development of Parks & Open Spaces. At Khanna, a 29 MLD capacity STP at a cost of Rs. 25.16 crores were also inaugurated.
Besides the Rs.721.85 crores for 24X7 Surface Water Supply Scheme at Amritsar, the Chief Minister virtually laid the foundation stones for development projects worth Rs.129.33 crores in Sultanpur Lodhi, the epicentre of the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. These included Widening & Strengthening of road from Dudwindi to Sultanpur Lodhi, Channelisation of Holi Bein and creation of Open Spaces, 4-Laning of Kapurthala Road via Fattudhinga, Building of Integrated Command & Control Centre, Strengthening of Fire Services, Development of Three Parks namely Mori Mohalla Park, Central Park & Jwala Park.
Similarly, the foundation stone of various works such as 15 MLD STP at Basti Peer Dad, Improvement of Jalandhar Railway Station, Upgradation of power Line distribution system of Raunak Bazaar, Waste Processing plant at Gadaipur with 5-year O&M included and a new road in Urban Estate Phase II and digitization of the existing Guru Nanak Dev Library were laid in Jalandhar (Rs. 41 crores). For Ludhiana, foundation stones for the Establishment of Ludhiana Municipal Control Centre, An Integrated command and surveillance centre for the city and the beautification of the Mini Rose Garden, were also laid. The total cost of these projects is Rs. 40 crores and tenders have already been invited for them.
Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra said that Captain Amarinder had taken personal interest in ensuring proper hygiene and sanitation in the urban areas during the difficult phase of Covid-19 pandemic. He also congratulated the Chief Minister for spectacular victory in MC elections, which was nothing short of a clear mandate in the favour of pro-urban development initiatives of present government.
The event, which was webcast at 900 locations across the state, was attended by PPCC President, Sunil Jakhar, cabinet ministers, including Sunder Sham Arora, Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, MLAs, Mayors, councillors, IYC President, Brinder Singh Dhillon, Chief Secretary, Vini Mahajan, and other senior officials of the Punjab government.