Terming Punjab as the next economic hub of South Asia, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday showcased Punjab as 'Land of Opportunities' to Non-resident Punjabis during a 90 minutes Power point presentation on the first day of the Punjab NRI Sammelan.
In a presentation made to elected representatives of Punjabi origin from various countries and NRI media, Sukhbir allayed the negative perception being perpetuated by opposition parties by presenting comparative facts showing Punjba in a better light.
In a post-tea session, smartly dressed deputy CM showcased Punjab like a CEO of a multi-national company and impressed upon the NRIs that SAD-BJP government in Punjab was out to accomplish the development agenda in time bound manner.
Badal said that the chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in the beginning of first tenure realised the fact that Punjab has to regain its preeminent position in the development and with strong agriculture base, high consumer index, best work culture, high per capita income, best human resource and on the top of it with the Enterprising Punjabis, it has potential to emerge as the No. 1 state in the country.
He said that we were also conscious of our limitation of being land-locked state, with international disturbed border on one side, with no natural mineral and mines and surrounded by state attracting industry with concessions besides stagnation of agriculture production.
He said that keeping strengths and weaknesses in mind we decided to focus on making Punjab power surplus, strengthening infrastructure in the state, improving air connectivity besides assuring transparency in the working of administration by governance Reforms to attract investment in the state.
Announcing to a thunderous standing ovation, Badal said that by December 2013, Punjab would be the first power surplus in the country with generation capacity reaching 8884 MW against the demand of 8865 MW. He said that by 2014-15 with generation capacity reaching 11,484 MW against demand of 9567 MW, Punjab would be in position to sell power, and if permitted by Union government, to export it to Pakistan also.
He said that Punjab is the only state in the country that would have three international airports at Amritsar, Mohali and Machhiwara and three domestic airports at Pathankot, Ludhiana and Bathinda. He said that Mohali airport being built on 305 acres at the cost of Rs 910 crore would be completed by February 2015.
Projecting Punjab as the first state in the country that would have all cities linked with 4/6 lane roads in three years at the cost of Rs 7600 crore, Badal said that we would soon witness completion of 4/6 laning of Shambu-Jalandhar, Jalandhar-Pathankot, Jalandhar-Amritsar, Amritsar-Pathankot, Amritsar-Zira-Kotkapura-Sri Ganga Nagar, Ludhiana-Moga-Talwandi, Hoshiarpur-Jalandhar-Moga-Barnala-Sangrur-Patran-Jind, Kharar-Ludhiana, Kurali-Ropar-Kiratpur Sahib, Ambala-Zirakpur-Kalka, Zirakpur-Patiala and Patiala-Bathinda highways and on Friday cleared project of Mohali Ludhiana Road.
He said that with the investment of Rs 7600 crore, with clause of 5 to 15 years maintenance of these roads, Punjab would be the state with highest road density of 133KM per 100 Sq Km.
Presenting futuristic town planning vision of the Punjab government, Badal said that Punjab is the first state that has approved the master plan of all the cities and said that Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala and Bathinda were being developed by international developers. He said that cabinet has approved master plans of 14 major cities and remaining master plans of 133 cities were in pipeline.
Announcing Comprehensive Urban Mission of 147 cities and towns for planned development, 24X7 power, 100% drinking water, 100% sewerage coverage, solid waste management, smooth traffic flow, Badal said that with the investment of Rs. 10000 crore all 147 cities would transform in next four years. He said that sensing the potential growth model of Punjab, top infrastructure companies including DLF, Shipra, IREO, Emaar MGF, Omaxe, TDI, Ansals, Unitech, Quark, JLPL have invested Rs 30480 crore during last four years.
Outlining his vision to make the transport system in the cities futuristic, Badal said that Rs 7500 crore Ludhiana Metro, Rs 200 crore Pod system in Amritsar would mark the beginning of new urban transport system. He said that he was having a meeting with vice chairman of Planning Commission on January 15 and we should expect surprising news on that day.
Badal said that all cities in Punjab have been connected with AC Buses and city bus service has already started in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Bathinda besides Radio Cab service in Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar.
Focusing on Human Resource Development, Badal said that Indian School of Business, Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Nano Science Technology, National Agri Food Biotechnology Institute have been already established during last four years.
(For details read hindustantimes)