· ALSO REQUESTS GADKARI FOR 4-LANE CONNECTIVITY FOR PUNJAB’S 4 REMAINING DISTRICTS
New Delhi, February 8: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has sought inclusion of the Shahpur Kandi Dam Project in the Fast Track Priority projects category, with 90:10 ratio to be maintained, while requesting the intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to bring the Rajasthan Feeder and Sirhind Feeder Canals in the priority list to enable Central funding under PMKSY.
During a meeting with Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources (WR), River Development (RD) & Ganga Rejuvenation (GR), the Chief Minister also reiterated his request for 4-laning of one section each of NH-703 and NH-10 to connect the state’s remaining four districts with 4-lane National Highways, while also seeking the Centre’s permission for the State PWD to take up 4-laning works of National Highways.
Gadkari, while expressing himself in favour of 90:10 ratio for Shahpur Kandi Dam, had suggested that the state government take up the issue directly with the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister told mediapersons later. In response to a question, he said the SYL matter was not discussed during the meeting.
Referring to Rajasthan Feeder and Sirhind Feeder Canals, for which the Government of India had released central assistance for relining before listing 99 projects on priority, the Chief Minister said he had told the Minister that since this project was not included in the list, the PMO should be urged to intervene so that the Union Cabinet’s approval for the same could be obtained. These projects can now be started in March 2019 with a closure of 70 days each in 2019, 2020 and 2021, he added.
On the Shahpur Kandi Dam Project, the Chief Minister requested Govt. of India/MoWR, RD and to ask the J&K Govt. to adhere to the agreement of March 31, 2017, to ensure immediate resumption of the work with the already approved 90:10 norms, instead of 60:40 as now proposed. Noting that resumption of work was under active consideration of the Punjab government, he also sought approval of Revised Cost Estimate of Rs 2738 Cr for the project.
If the above proposals are accepted by the Ministry of WR, RD and GR, Govt. of India, the water going down stream of Madhopur Head Works to Pakistan shall be stopped, Captain Amarinder noted.
Further, pointing out that 18 out of Punjab’s 22 districts were already connected with 4/6 lane National Highways, the Chief Minister said only Ferozepur, Mansa, Sri Muktsar Sahib and Fazilka were still connected with 2-lane National Highways. While connectivity of Ferozepur and Sri Muktsar Sahib was under consideration of NHAI, the Chief Minister pointed out that he had, in May last year, written to the Ministry seeking similar connectivity for Barnala-Mansa section of NH-703 and Dabwali-Malout-Abohar-Fazilka section of NH-10. He requested that NHAI may now be directed to speed up process of upgradation of Talwandi-Ferozepur and Sri Muktsar Sahib-Malout sections as well.
Captain Amarinder also urged the Minister to notify the Banga-Garhshankar-Anandpur Sahib-Naina Devi Road as National Highway, for which in-principle approval had already been given by the Ministry.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister underlined the need for approval of the pending estimates/DPRs, submitted by the State PWD, within the current financial year to facilitate early implementation of important projects.
Captain Amarinder further requested the Ministry to consider approval, under Economical Importance (EI), for the proposed new construction of road along Canal (Kasur Branch Lower/Khem Karan Distributory) from Village Joura originating from MDR-62 (Tarn Taran – Patti road) to Village Mehmoodpura in District Tarn Taran, Punjab, since it had not been approved under the Central Road Fund.
Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Member Parliament from Gurdaspur and PPCC Chief Sunil Jakhar, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Raveen Thukral, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Tejveer Singh, Secretary Irrigation Jaspal Singh and Resident Commissioner, Punjab Bhawan New Delhi Rakhee Bhandari.