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SAS Nagar to become a district
Sarbjit Dhaliwal and Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 27
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today approved the formation of a new district in the state which would include Mohali, Dera Bassi and Kharar tehsils. The new district, to be initially named as Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, will include 436 villages falling within these tehsils and the five townships of Mohali, Kharar, Kurali, Zirakpur and Dera Bassi.

A formal announcement to this effect is expected to be made by the Chief Minister tomorrow on the floor of the Vidhan Sabha. The new district is expected to come into being from Baisakhi (April 13).

The boundaries of the new Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar district, the 18th district of Punjab
The boundaries of the new Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar district, the 18th district of Punjab. Map courtesy: Department of Town and Country Planning, Punjab.

The matter was finalised during a high-powered meeting chaired by the Chief Minister in Chandigarh today. It was also decided that Chamkaur Sahib would be upgraded into a sub-division from a sub-tehsil. Also areas including Rajpura, Banur and Chunni would be joined with the new district to form a conglomerate of Greater Mohali for development purposes. The creation of a Greater Mohali Development Authority was also cleared during the meeting today.

Kharar tehsil, including 200 villages, will be the largest administrative unit of the new district followed by Dera Bassi tehsil which has 154 villages. Mohali tehsil has another 82 villages.

Since no change has been made in the boundaries of the three tehsils, there will be no administrative realignment required in the new district. The district will remain divided into three development blocks. Other than a new DC and SSP, at least 30 other officers will be posted at the district headquarters in Mohali which will also have its own courts.

Sources added that it was forcefully proposed during the meeting that 11 villages falling in Chunni kanungoi of Fatehgarh Sahib district and eight villages falling in Banur Kanungoi of Patiala district be also included in the new district. “However, the decision not to include these 19 villages was taken on technical grounds since the Election Commission has asked the state that no changes should be made in the tehsil boundaries till a final decision is taken on the delimitation of the legislative assemblies of the state,” pointed out Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA, who was present at the meeting. The sources added that the inclusion of these 19 villages would streamline the area since it would include the entire periphery of Chandigarh that falls within Punjab.

Stating that formation of a district including these areas into a single administrative unit had been a long-standing demand of the residents of this area, Mr Bir Devinder Singh added that this decision of the Chief Minister would be received with elation among the residents.

He said the decision regarding the formation of Greater Mohali Development Authority would also have far-reaching effects since the region was attracting the largest chunk of investments into the state. “The Authority will be responsible for the development of the entire region in terms of infrastructure etc,” he said.
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