Brushing aside the allegations of Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu that his projects had been scuttled, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal said that he was committed to the development of the Holy City and Rs 2,000 crores would be pumped in to change the face of Amritsar in the coming years.
Stressing that deed always spoke louder than words, Sukhbir said, “The self evident development of this holy city would put an end to all false propaganda. I am very much committed to the development agenda and efforts are on to give the city a major facelift.”
On a question regarding Sidhu's recent diatribe against the state government, wherein he had alleged that Amritsar over the years had been ignored, Sukhbir said, “I don't need to give any clarification regarding development of Amritsar as the reality was self evident to everybody. The face of the city will change once the Rs 2,000-crore master plan is implemented by year 2016.”
“My commitment is clear with the people and the alliance partner. Everything is fine with the BJP. I cannot comment on some individual statements,” he added.
The new proposed Traditional gateway of Amritsar, whose foundation stone was laid by Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday. Munish Byala/HT
On allegations by Sidhu that projects envisaged by him were scuttled, Sukhbir said, "No project was scuttled. As far as sports stadium is concerned, it was a small one (chhota jiha, gere jahe kaddan wala). We have made a few additions to this project and will be world-class once complete. The CCTV project was also not that big. We are pumping in more money (Rs 100 crores) to install cameras and by March 31, Amritsar will be declared a safe city."
On fund diversion, he said, “No funds were diverted to Bathinda. Bathinda itself has a lot of funds. It can send funds to other places.”
On a question of support to BJP candidate from Amritsar, “We are with the BJP. Whosoever gets the ticket will get our support. Even if Sidhu gets the ticket, we will support him.”"I am working with the mission to transform the Holy City into one of the most beautiful cities and in near future Amritsar will proudly showcase its state-of-the-art sports stadiums, flyovers, 100% sewerage renewal, complete rural lighting, BRTS, world-class solid waste management system and much more," he added.
The deputy CM, who was accompanied by cabinet minister Anil Joshi, mayor Bakshi Ram Arora, BJP state general secretary Tarun Chug, also laid the foundation stone of multi-crore projects including Rs 12.80-crore project of replacement of decades-old water pipes in Katra Sant Singh area of the old city, Rs 5-crore project of CC Flooring in Katra Ahluwalia Area and Rs 7.39-crore gateway project for the construction of entrance gate on Amritsar-Jalandhar road.