Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 2
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday accepted the state government’s demand for including Amritsar in an expressway project that will connect Delhi and Katra, putting an end to the speculation over the status of the holy city in the project.
Earlier, some reports surfaced that Amritsar was dropped from the Rs60,000 crore project.
As the Centre has acceded to the state government’s demand, the Amritsar’s place in the project gets an official stamp of approval.
Gadkari conveyed the news to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh during a video-conference on Tuesday.
The Centre also agreed to convert the Punjab stretch of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway into a greenfield project by providing a direct spur from Nakodar, onward to five historic towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib and Tarn Taran leading to Amritsar.
The Chief Minister had earlier raised the matter with the Centre after Amritsar residents and their representatives expressed concern that expressway did not connect religious and historical towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib and Tarn Taran.
The original proposal of the NHAI had entailed widening of the existing GT road from Kartarpur to Amritsar as a brownfield project, which was proving expensive as it would have resulted in major demolition on account of land acquisition.
During the video-conference, the Union Minister told the CMthat the NHAI had approved the alignment of phase I of the expressway with the Delhi-Gurdaspur section as a greenfield project.
To speed up the process of land acquisition for the new greenfield alignment, the Chief Minister agreed to an early meeting between the NHAI and state government.
A government spokesperson said the greenfield alignment would provide direct connectivity to Amritsar starting from Kangsabu village on the Jalandhar-Nakodar NHconnecting Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, Tarn Taran and Amritsar and merging with Amritsar-Dera Baba Nanak road near Rajasansi airport.
Harsimrat claims credit for it
- Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday thanked her Cabinet colleague Nitin Gadkari for amending the alignment of the expressway to connect Amritsar and Delhi
- She claimed that the Union Minister acceded to her request for the amendment
- “Now, an additional greenfield highway will be constructed between Kartarpur and Amritsar to ensure direct connectivity between the holy city and the national capital,” she said.
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