Chandigarh/Jalandhar: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday unveiled a slew of development works for Jalandhar, announcing an immediate grant of Rs 363.43 crore for the implementation of various ongoing and new schemes in the city.
The Chief Minister, who was on first visit to the city since assuming office, held a workers’ meeting and address the media, where he announced various development schemes, including a Rs. 1000 crore ADB project for `Canal Water for drinking purposes’.
The project, for which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was already conducting a feasibility study at a cost of Rs 3 crore, would, once implemented, resolve the drinking water problem in all the major cities of the state, including Jalandhar, the Chief Minister told mediapersons. It would enable drawing of water directly from the rivers instead of through tubewells, which could not be used in many places because of the brackish underground water, he said.
Installation and development of water systems, sewage treatment plant, roads, streets and streetlights are some of the other development works for which the state government had decided to inject the much-needed funds in the city for its infrastructural development.
The financial crisis faced by his government will not be allowed to obstruct the development of any region, he said, reiterating his commitment to implementing every single promise made to the people of Punjab in the Congress manifesto.
Making a slew of announcements for Jalandhar, the Chief Minister said he had sanctioned Rs 50 crore for expediting the prestigious Smart City Project, along with new development works worth Rs. 42.43 crore. The new works relate to construction of streets and drains, as well as installation of street lights in various parts of the city.
The Rs. 346 crore AMRUT scheme also received a shot in the arm, with the state government sanctioning Rs. 190 crore for the execution of several critical works under the same. Amarinder also unveiled a Rs. 81 crore grant for ongoing work and meeting of liabilities under the Urban Mission (PIDB).
The new projects under the AMRUT scheme relate to strengthening of water supply system (Rs. 40 crore) and construction and upgradation of 100 MLD Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), at a cost of Rs. 150 crore.
These initiatives would augment the state-wide development agenda on which the government had already embarked, the Chief Minister declared, pointing out that various welfare initiatives had already been kick-started in the city as part of this agenda.
Besides one-time settlement of property/house tax, the government has also announced one-time settlement of old arrears of water and sewerage charges. Captain Amarinder further disclosed that the work on the establishment of a Directorate of Fire Services at State Level had also begun in right earnest.
Reservation of 50% seats for women in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), as well as free of cost homes for homeless people and subsidized houses for economically weaker sections under the Shehri Awaas Yojna were some of the welfare initiatives undertaken by the government for the underprivileged sections of the society, he added.
Women’s reservation was a core agenda of the Congress party, under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, at the national level and his government was implementing the same in Punjab, he said.
Captain cited devolution of proprietary rights to old tenants on residential and commercial properties of municipal bodies as a significant step towards bringing in transparency in the systems, which had been completely destroyed under the erstwhile SAD-BJP regime.
The government, said Amarinder, was committed to the holistic and inclusive development of the entire state. Jalandhar was of critical interest to the accomplishment of this goal and the government would continue to initiate new schemes to strengthen the infrastructure of the city, he added.
Captain Amarinder promised that funds would also be made available for rural development in the area, which, like the rest of the state, had been ruined by the anti-people policies of the previous government. All possible steps for the welfare of the farmers and revival of industry were being taken, notwithstanding the economic crisis faced by the state, he added.
E-Governance in delivery of Urban Civic Services, with most services to be made available through Mobile App, will help streamline and improve public access to various civic processes and systems, said the Chief Minister, who praised Local Bodies & Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for his effective utilisation of the meagre resources to further the government’s development agenda.
Earlier, addressing the workers’ meeting at DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sidhu said the E-Seva service announced by CM would be launched soon and online transcripts of layout plans of residential properties would become available.
Lambasting the `jija-saala’ duo of Akali leaders Bikram Singh Majithia and Sukhbir Singh Badal over their false and senseless statements alleging the contrary, Sidhu described himself as a loyalist of the Chief Minister and said he would remain loyal to Captain Amarinder "as long as blood flows in my veins.” The Akalis were trying to mislead the people into believing that there were differences between him and the Chief Minister to further their own political interests, he added.