Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) is on the fast track of development. Focusing on areas in and around Punjab’s SAS Nagar and Amritsar, it plans to come up with not only a medicity and an IT city, but also convention centres. PIDB managing director-cum-secretary, housing and urban development, SS Sandhu talked to HT’s Monica Sharma. Excerpts:
What are the functions and vision of PIDB?
PIDB is the nodal agency of the Punjab government for planning infrastructure projects under various sectors. PIDB structures funding for these projects. This includes direct funding, public-private partnership, built-operate-transfer, joint ventures, management contracts, and even outsourcing. PIDB is in the process of development and upgradation of projects worth R26,400 crore through the PPP route.
How did recession affect development in the state?
The international convention centre at SAS Nagar could not take off. A five-star hotel at SAS Nagar also met the same fate. In Bathinda, the modern bus stand project was stalled. However, PIDB has emerged much stronger from the recession and development work is back on track.
What is the current status of convention centres across the state?
One convention centre each would come up in SAS Nagar and Amritsar. Ten leading companies have shown interest in the project and the process is on to set it up.
What are the plans for developing infrastructure, transport facilities?
An expressway in Ludhiana, with an estimated cost of R400 crore, is set to be completed by December. More than 29 overbridges have been built and 10 more are in the pipeline. A state-of-the-art airconditioned bus stand in SAS Nagar will come up by July next year. The elevated road to Harmandar Sahib, financed by PIDB, will be ready by March.
What about PIDB’s plans to come up with specialised cities?
An Information Technology City on 1,500 acres is being planned near the Aerocity, and a 150-acre Medicity in Mullanpur is also coming up.
How do you rate the growth potential in the housing sector?
The response to the Aerocity project was simply mind-boggling. Besides Aerocity project Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is coming up with two urban estates in Mullanpur.
Chandigarh housing board has often been blamed for its pricy housing projects. Is PIDB different in this regard?
GMADA believes in controlling property prices by coming up with projects at much lesser than the prevailing market rates. Even while acquiring land, efforts are made to give the landowners their due.