The Centre will initiate work on the infrastructure development of Sultanpur Lodhi town as proposed by the Punjab government at the earliest, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri assured Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday.
The Chief Minister had called on Puri, the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, here to press for early approval for the Rs 321 crore infrastructure development projects proposed by the state government for Sultanpur Lodhi town.
The town holds historical significance due to its association with Guru Nanak Dev, whose 550th Prakash Purb is being celebrated this year.
Puri said he had already instructed the department to immediately vet the proposals and secure the necessary approvals to start work on priority, an official spokesperson told IANS after the meeting.
To the Chief Minister’s request for inclusion of the three Municipal Corporation towns of Patiala, Bathinda and SAS Nagar in the Smart Cities Project being assisted by the Central government on a sharing basis, Puri assured to consider the same as and when the project is expanded to cover new cities.
The Union Minister said he was committed to helping Punjab in any way he could and would look into the demands of the state.
He later told mediapersons that he would ensure maximum flights from Punjab to cater to the demand for global travel.
The Chief Minister said, in response to media queries after the meeting, that the Union Minister had promised to look into the state’s demands related to urban development and aviation.
Earlier, during the meeting, Amarinder Singh said Patiala, besides being an old heritage city, had also been declared a Counter-Magnet Town to the national capital region (NCR) by the NCR Planning Board.
Strengthening infrastructure in all the Counter-Magnet Towns would also help in reducing migration to Delhi, he pointed out.
The Chief Minister also urged Puri to approve early clearance for a NCR Planning Board loan for the Patiala Nadi Hydrology project, for which the state government would soon submit a formal proposal.
Bathinda, he said, was a fast growing and principal town in southern Punjab while SAS Nagar (Mohali) was a satellite town of Chandigarh with the highest growth potential in Punjab.
To strengthen the state’s global connectivity, the Chief Minister sought inclusion of Chandigarh under the Open Skies Policy for Asean countries, while asking for an urgent review of the current policy of bilateral spots to facilitate more international flights out of Chandigarh, especially to the Gulf countries and Turkey, thereby enabling greater connectivity with the rest of the world.
The Chief Minister also asked the Union Minister to consider the proposal to name Adampur Airport as Jalandhar Airport for easy booking of flights by tourists and NRIs.
On the occasion, Puri presented his book “Delusional Politics” to the Chief Minister.