Laying the foundation stones and inaugurating a slew of projects worth Rs 1,087 crores virtually for holistic development of urban areas under the Centre’s Smart City and , Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday urged the Central Government to include the holy city of Sri Anandpur Sahib under the Smart City scheme, as a tribute to Guru Tegh Bahadur on his 400th birth anniversary.
Thanking the people of the State for their overwhelming support to the Congress party in the recently-concluded civic elections, Capt Amarinder said that the mandate is a vindication of the pro-people policies of Congress Government.
Pointing out that while the Congress had won 1,410 of the 2,206 wards (64 per cent), the Chief Minister said that all the opposition parties had been decimated because of their anti-people and vicious negative agendas.
He lambasted the earlier Akali-BJP regime for ignoring the development of urban areas and expressed confidence that the launch of these projects will drive sustainable progress in these regions.
The Chief Minister said that he was particularly delighted today to lay the foundation stone of the Rs 721 crore Surface Water Supply Scheme for Amritsar city, his erstwhile Parliamentary constituency. This scheme would ensure access to clean drinking water to the residents of the holy city, instead of the contaminated and fast depleting ground water, he added.
“Under the first phase of Urban Infrastructure Improvement Program (UIIP), 2,065 projects have been started, with majority being completed, at a cost of Rs 300 crores.
Another 4,227 projects have been approved under the second phase and work on 1,300 of them has already started,” said the Chief Minister.
Giving details of the progress of Smart City projects in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, and Sultanpur Lodhi under his government, Capt Amarinder said that of the total allocation of Rs 3,000 crores, works worth Rs 1,246 crores had been started or completed so far.
“While the tenders for works worth Rs 918 crores have already been issued, the process of issuing tenders for works worth Rs 802 crores is already underway,” said the Chief Minister adding that in contrast to this, SAD-BJP regime (2007-17) had merely spent Rs 35 crores during their decade long rule under this scheme.
“Congress Government has already allocated Rs 2,785 crores under the AMRUT scheme for 16 towns and work on projects worth Rs 2,740 crores is underway,” said the Chief Minister.
Taking a dig at the Akali-BJP combine, the Chief Minister said: “They totally ignored this scheme and spent merely Rs 18 crores in 10 years of their rule…The scheme aims at providing 100 per cent water supply and sewerage and so far 1072 kms of Water Supply and 698 Kms of Sewerage pipelines had been laid, besides the release of 69,304 Household Water Supply and 43,611 Household Sewerage connections.”
Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra said that Capt Amarinder had taken personal interest in ensuring proper hygiene and sanitation in the urban areas during the difficult phase of COVID-19 pandemic.