Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday virtually laid foundation stones and inaugurated a slew of projects worth Rs 1,087 crore 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 in the recently concluded civic elections, Amarinder said the mandate “is a vindication of the pro-people policies of his government”.
Pointing out that while the Congress had won 1,410 of the 2,206 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 project will drive sustainable progress in these regions.
He said that he was particularly delighted 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 CM said under the first phase of Urban Infrastructure Improvement Program (UIIP), 2,065 projects have been started, with majority being completed, at a cost of Rs 300 crore. He said another 4,227 projects have been approved under the second phase and work on 1,300 of them has already started.
Giving details of the progress of Smart City projects in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Sultanpur Lodhi under his government, Capt Amarinder said that of the total allocation of Rs 3,000 crore, works worth Rs 1,246 crore had been started or completed so far.
He said while tenders for works worth Rs 918 crore had already been issued, the process of issuing tenders for works worth Rs 802 crore were already underway. The chief minister said that in contrast to this, the SAD-BJP regime (2007-17) “had merely spent Rs 35 crore during their decade-long rule under this scheme”.
He said his government had already allocated Rs 2,785 crore under the AMRUT scheme for 16 towns and work on projects worth Rs 2,740 crore was underway. Taking a dig at the Akali-BJP combine, the chief minister said, “They totally ignored this scheme and spent merely Rs 18 crore in 10 years of their rule”.
He said the scheme aims at providing 100 per cent water supply and sewerage and so far 1,072 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 and rehabilitation of sewerage network and sewage treatment plant for 100 per cent coverage, 74 km sewerage line with 5,740 household sewerage connections and 20 MLD sewerage treatment plant at a cost of Rs 105.63 crore.
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 and open spaces. At Khanna, a 29 MLD capacity STP at a cost of Rs. 25.16 crore was also inaugurated.
Besides the Rs 721.85 crore for 24×7 Surface Water Supply Scheme at Amritsar, the chief minister virtually laid the foundation stones for development projects worth Rs 129.33 crore in Sultanpur Lodhi, the epicentre of the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Guru Nanak.
These included widening and strengthening of the road from Dudwindi to Sultanpur Lodhi, channelisation of Holi Bein and creation of open spaces, four-Laning of Kapurthala Road via Fattudhinga, building of Integrated Command and Control Centre, strengthening of fire services, development of three parks namely Mori Mohalla Park, Central Park and Jwala Park.
Similarly, the foundation stones 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, a new road in Urban Estate Phase II and digitisation of the existing Guru Nanak Dev Library were laid in Jalandhar (Rs 41 crore).
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 crore and tenders have already been invited for them.
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