M A I N   N E W S

Punjab sows, Haryana reaps
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
“Punjab sows, Haryana reaps”. This is how a senior politician commented with regard to the extension of the Mumbai-Delhi industrial corridor up to Ludhiana. The politician may not be fully correct in his observation but to the large extent he was right. Many examples can be cited to prove the point that though the Punjab has been lobbying hard to get various projects and proposals approved from the union government, Haryana is going to be major beneficiary of those proposals and projects.

Take the case of industrial corridor. Extension of the industrial corridor to Ludhiana is going to benefit Haryana most though lobbying for it was done by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Most part of the 200-km-long stretch along the Delhi-Ambala railway track will be developed as part of the extended industrial corridor. Punjab’s stretch to be covered under it will be just about 100 km. In fact, benefit to Haryana will be double with the proposed extension. Haryana’s Manesar-Bawal belt, adjoining Rajasthan boundary, was already covered under the corridor project before its extension to Ludhiana.

Earlier, the union government had extended the dedicated rail freight corridor to Ludhiana from Delhi at the behest of the Punjab government. In 2006, the then Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had lobbied hard to get the freight corridor extended to Ludhiana. Shortly before the last Assembly elections, the Prime Minister, accompanied by railway minister, had inaugurated the corridor project at a function near Ludhiana. The freight corridor was to terminate at Delhi. Its one stretch was Delhi-Kolkata and the other Delhi-Mumbai.

However, with the efforts of the Punjab government, Haryana also became a part of the freight corridor and like industrial corridor, the benefit of freight corridor will also be maximum to it.

Most apt and latest instance is of the international airport on the areas of Chandigarh and Mohali. Punjab had been trying hard for the approval to the project for the past five years. First Amarinder Singh’s government worked hard to get the airport project sanctioned. Many sites were proposed but those were rejected for one or other reason.

And when Parkash Singh Badal became Chief Minister he also lobbied in Delhi to get the airport project sanctioned. Badal ultimately succeeded in getting the project approved. He even invited Haryana, Himachal Pradesh to be part of the project, but there was no response. However, the day when the MoU with Airport Authority of India (AAI) was to be signed, Haryana, all of a sudden, became equal partner in the project.

Many senior politicians of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal were surprised by this development.

It is an established fact that mostly Punjab government lobbies to get the minimum support price enhanced of the paddy and wheat every year. Badal met union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar a number of times to get the paddy price enhanced and to get bonus announced on it. Even Congress leaders from Punjab, too, made a contribution in this regard. However, with the enhancement of MSP, Haryana’s farmers were also equally benefited.



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