New Delhi, June 27: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has sought early clearance of ring roads around the state’s major cities, while urging the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Nitin Gadkari, to immediately release the third installment of GoI grant of Rs.3.72 crore for Mohali Hitech Metal Cluster and implementation of SFURTI in Wood Inlay Cluster, Hoshiarpur.
The Chief Minister called upon Gadkari here on Thursday afternoon to press for his intervention to clear the state’s pending projects/approvals under his department. He invited the Union Minister to visit Punjab to help revive the MSMEs in the state.
Gadkari assured Captain Amarinder that all Punjab related issues pending with his ministries would be looked into and addressed at the earliest. He also assured of full support and cooperation to the state government in pursuance of their road infrastructure development projects, besides various initiatives in the field of MSMEs.
According to an official spokesperson, Captain Amarinder informed the Union Minister that state government had already conveyed its consent to bear 50% cost of land acquisition for construction of Ring Roads around major cities of Mohali/Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Sangrur and Bathinda, in line with the MORT&H guidelines of Bharatmala "build including Ring Road or Bypass, which was not a part of the Bharatmala shelf of Projects. Such a new project would be taken up for consideration by the Ministry only if the State/Agency is ready to bear at least 50% cost of land acquisition. The Chief Minister said the Ministry had already approved the ring road around Bathinda.
The Chief Minister also sought the Union Ministry’s immediate approval of funds to the tune of Rs. 636.45 lakh for appointment of technical consultant for the ring roads project to work out the alignments needed for the roads.
Captain Amarinder also urged Gadkari to facilitate expeditious clearance of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway project, for which Government of India has already approved a plan for constructing 800 Km of Expressways under Bharatmala Scheme Phase-I. The state government had requested the Ministry time and again for early start of this project but so far even the alignment has not been frozen upon, he lamented.
The Chief Minister also impressed upon the Union Minister the need for immediate declaration of National Highway and approval to four laning of Patiala-Sirhind-Morinda road, which the Union Ministry was pressing for development as a Greenfield project while the state wanted it to be a brownfield project.
Captain Amarinder requested the Minister to declare Banga-Garhshankar-Anandpur Sahib-Naina Devi Road as a National Highways project in the current fiscal. He pointed out that this demand has also been raised by the Jathedar of Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib as the road in question was in extremely bad shape. It may be recalled that Gadkari had earlier laid the foundation stone for the upgradation of Banga-Garhshankar-Anandpur Sahib-Naina Devi Road.
The Chief Minister also sought expeditious clearance of pending projects, including Patiala-Pehowa-Kurukshetra-Ladwa-Yamunanagar (30.30 KM), Prem Nagar-Morinda-Chamkaur Sahib-Bela-Paniyali road and connecting to NH-344A (31 KM), Khanna-Malerkotala-Raikot-Jagraon junction with NH-703 near Sidwan Bet (120 KM), Nawanshahr-Rahon-Machhiwara-Samrala-Khanna (65 KM), Tarn Taran-Goindwal Sahib-Kapurthala road (50 KM) and Gurdaspur-Mukerian-Talwara-Mubarikpur road (83 KM).
Captain Amarinder impressed upon Union Minister the need to develop Kharar-Banur-Tepla road NH-205A as a four-lane highway, in view of the large Delhi bound interstate commercial traffic from Himachal Pradesh and Haryana passing this road. He also demanded construction of a suitable flyover in Bhawanigarh town to segregate the local traffic from the regular traffic passing through four laned Patiala-Bathinda section of NH-64 having a length of 176 Km.
The Chief Minister also requested Nitin Gadkari to transfer the work of implementation of two lane projects (Gurdaspur-Dera Baba Nanak-Amritsar-Khemkharan-Arifke road), as well other Bharatmala projects, to the State PWD (B&R) as the department had well-trained competent National Highways Wing headed by a full time Chief Engineer with adequate and qualified staff.
This team had successfully implementing 4-laning of 620 Km of National Highways in the State, of which 550 Km had already been completed in a time-bound manner.
The Chief Minister requested Gadkari to issue necessary directions to concerned officials in NHAI to execute the incomplete structures/stretches, and also take up to repair deficiencies in maintenance without further delay. He said if the incomplete structures/stretches and deficiencies were not attended to immediately, in a time-bound manner, it would be appropriate to initiate action for termination of toll collection on this road.
Captain Amarinder invited Nitin Gadkari to visit Punjab to discuss the development of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in a meaningful and result oriented manner. He emphasized the need to promote agriculture based MSMEs in the state to ameliorate the economic lot of our farmers, who were reeling under a severe agrarian crisis.
The Chief Minister said that under Micro & Small Enterprises Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP) of the GOI, due to increase in cost of setting up of Common Facility Centres, the grant should be increased to Rs. 20 crores per CFC and also the mandatory 10% share of State Govt. may not be insisted upon. Under the Industrial Infrastructure Development Scheme MSE-CDP the condition of one focal point per district may not be insisted upon and States may be allowed to take up the projects on the basis of actual requirements, he added.
The existing District Industries Centers (DIC) building may be provided a grant of Rs.2.00 crores per building for strengthening, up-gradation and construction of new buildings of DICs in the remaining 10 new districts, he added. The Chief Minister demanded that ZED rated units be given benefits, including preferential treatment, in procurement and also exemption from compliance inspections by Pollution Control Boards.
The Chief Minister also touched upon several other related issues, setting up of technology centres & sub centres under Hub & Spoke Scheme, and Zero Effect Zero Defect Scheme.
He was accompanied by Punjab PWD Minister, Vijay Inder Singla, MPs, Preneet Kaur, Manish Tiwari and Gurjit Singh Aujla, his Principal Secretary Tejveer Singh and Secretary PWD Hussan Lal.