M A I N   N E W S

PM puts Haryana on road to progress
Vibha Sharma/Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 5
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, today unfolded a package of development plans for Haryana, emphasising that the UPA government would consider setting up an atomic power plant at Kumharia in Fatehabad district and generate a consensus among states so that projects like the Kishau Dam could be taken up soon to benefit farmers in the state.

“As and when we move to the next phase of development of nuclear power, we will consider setting up an atomic power plant at Kumharia. We will also examine the possibility of making available additional power to Haryana from power projects in other states,” the Prime Minister told a public meeting after laying the foundation of six-lane highway here.

Several dignitaries, including Haryana Governor A.R. Kidwai, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Union Ministers Kumari Selja and Rao Birendra Singh, senior Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi, MP Dr Arvind Sharma and senior NHAI officials, shared the dais with the PM.

State Congress president Bhajan Lal and his MP son Kuldeep Bishnoi stayed away from the function.

Dr Manmohan Singh assured all assistance to Panchkula to make its infrastructure comparable to Chandigarh.

“We will assist Panchkula so that its infrastructure becomes comparable to Chandigarh,” he said, while promising to consider Haryana’s request for setting up a medical college in the state in the memory of astronaut Kalpana Chawla, in consultation with NASA.

The 10-km-long highway at Panipat includes a 3.4-km elevated stretch over the city. The Rs 325-crore state-of-the-art highway will be executed by L&T Panipat Elevated Corridor Pvt. Ltd. with a negative grant of Rs 96.4 crore on the built-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

Speaking in Hindi, the Prime Minister assured the gathering of Centre’s assistance for the development of Haryana, its cities, towns and villages.

“All these measures will help reduce the power problem of the state,” he said in response to requests made by Mr Hooda in his speech earlier.

He said the authorities had already begun preparatory work on the four-laning of the Delhi-Hisar portion of NH-10 via Rohtak. He also announced to expedite work on an elevated road at Badarpur.

The Prime Minister said he was keen on seeing Haryana emerge as the numero uno state of the country. “Development of Haryana is a priority for us,” he said.

Stressing the country’s need for world-class infrastructure, the Prime Minister said increased flow of investments in the infrastructure sector was essential for realising the country’s growth target of 8-10 per cent.

He said the UPA government accorded highest priority to the development of both National Highways and rural roads and the government was investing over Rs 1,80,000 crore on the road network.

“We are also providing funds to state governments to improve state highways and other roads. National Highways are being four and six-laned right across the country. Most of these works will be taken up on the basis of public-private partnership (PPP),’’ he said.

He said in the past one year, the government had awarded contracts for four-laning of near 5,500 km of National Highways, which was the highest ever since the launch of the National Highways Development Programme (NHDP).

Dr Singh also mentioned the ambitious Bharat Nirman Pariyojana through which every village by 2009 would be connected with a road and telephone facility, while potable water and reliable electricity would not be a mere pipe dream.

“I am sure that Haryana too will benefit from this massive programme and we will see Haryana’s villages transformed by this investment.”

Speaking about the new project at Panipat, the Prime Minister said the long-distance traffic would be able to pass unhindered on the elevated highway and local vehicles will move safely at ground level without being affected by heavy traffic.

“The stretch would reduce the travel time from Delhi and the region around it, besides benefitting Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and other states,” he added.

Mr Hooda lauded the role of the Prime Minister. He said the Prime Minister was a proud son of Haryana as his family had settled at Naraingarh after partition in 1947.

Showing his reservation on deteriorating law and order situation around Delhi, Mr Hooda advised to strengthen the police force in the region. He said he had written to the Prime Minister over the issue.

He also urged the Prime Minister to start more projects in the underdeveloped areas of Haryana.

Earlier, Karnal MP Dr Arvind Sharma demanded the inclusion of Karnal, Rewari, Palwal and other areas in the National Capital Region (NCR). He said these areas should strengthen for the overall development of the state.


PM’s escort chopper catches fire
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 5
A major mishap was averted this afternoon as engine of an escort chopper of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh caught fire.

According to sources, engine of one of the choppers caught fire due to a technical fault. Not much damage was reported to the chopper as the fire was controlled in time.

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