A controversy has erupted over the proposed Rs53.9-crore sewerage project at Sirhind after the state government, in a reply submitted to the Punjab and Haryana high court, said that no project was pending under the Urban Infrastructure Development Schemes for small and medium towns, but Congress MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra claimed that the project hanged in balance after its foundation stone was laid by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on February 28.
Nagra said the project was cleared by the central government under the Jawahar Lal Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
The controversy arose after the revelation by Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Kumar Jakhar at a press conference at Chandigarh on Tuesday that the secretary, local government, had submitted a reply to the high court that no project had been pending under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for small and medium towns.
Nagra alleged the project had also hogged limelight as the deputy chief minister had laid the foundation stone of the project again a day after the former Member of Parliament Sukhdev Singh Libra had also laid the foundation stone on the main gate of the municipal council building.
He said if the project has been scrapped, then the expenses incurred by the deputy CM on helicopters, adver tisements and other costs involved in th e fo u n d a t i o n - l ay in g spree, should be recovered from him and the local bodies minister Anil Joshi. Nagra also demanded the registration of cases against the two for misusing the government machinery and public funds.
Nagra said the then union minister Kamal Nath, after visiting the town, had cleared second phase of the project costing Rs 53.9 crore under the JNNURM. The central government was to provide ` 35.2 crore for the project while the state government was to contribute ` 4.40 crore while the rest of the amount was to be provided by the municipal council. Under the project, two sewerage treatment plants were supposed to be set up in Humayunpur and Defence Bundh at Sirhind.
Denying scrapping of the project, executive engineer Vishnu Sharma said that they were preparing the detailed project report which would soon be submitted to the state government. He said that the procedure was already in pipeline and once they got approval of the project report they would start the work.