INDIA VOTES 2024: Little thrust on projects may cost AAP dear in Amritsar : The Tribune India

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INDIA VOTES 2024: Little thrust on projects may cost AAP dear in Amritsar

INDIA VOTES 2024: Little thrust on projects may cost AAP dear in Amritsar

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, April 20

Little progress in development of high-value projects, including the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), Post Graduate Institute of Horticulture Research and Education (PGIHRE), proposed rail link between Patti and Makhu and multi-purpose stadium may cost AAP dear in the Lok Sabha poll.

Ignored by previous govts also

The Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government didn’t take stock of these projects, which might have bolstered the economy of Amritsar district, in the past two years. Some local residents added that these high-value projects had been ignored by previous regimes as well.

Locals said the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government didn’t took stock of these projects, which may had bolstered the economy of Amritsar district, in the past two years. They added that these high-value projects were ignored by previous regimes as well.

Around 37,000 passengers used to commute on the BRTS before it went off the road in July last year. The Metro Bus service was suspended as the private firm, which provided drivers and mechanics, left the contract mid-way due to financial issues. Even the Amritsar Municipal Corporation failed to arrange contractual staff to run buses.

Kulwant Singh of Fateh Rajputan village said the successive state governments had failed to finalise a piece of land for the PGIHRE, which was announced by former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in 2015, and the Rs 1,700 crore project had become a victim of politics.

The proposal to procure private land was shelved by the AAP government last year. Instead, the focus is on to provide the land owned by the government or panchayats for the institute.

Even the proposed multi-purpose stadium, which was to come up on 21 acres of land, is yet to see the light of day. On November 12, 2011, then Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal had laid the foundation stone of the sports complex. Later, Capt Amarinder Singh laid the stone again in 2017. In January 2022, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi became the third dignitary to do the needful.

Around five years after then Union Minister Pawan Bansal got the Patti-Makhu rail line approved. Later, the NITI Aayog allocated Rs 1,000 crore to the Railways. Of this, Rs 299 crore was released during 2017-18, but the entire amount has been lying unused due to non-acquisition of land (70 acres in Tarn Taran and 95 acres in Ferozepur districts) by the state government. This railway line would reduce the distance between Jammu and Mumbai by 240 km.

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