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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Fund-starved AIT to finance PWD project

Shaheen P Parshad, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, October 31, 2013
First Published: 21:53 IST(31/10/2013) | Last Updated: 21:57 IST(31/10/2013)

The Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT), which is itself in the throes of a fund crunch, has been asked to finance the Public Works Department (B and R), which has been appointed as the executing agency for the construction of a railway over bridge (ROB) on the Amritsar-Sarhali-Harike road, besides widening of the highly-congested approach road.

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A decision in this regard was taken during a meeting of the heads of various departments with deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal in Chandigarh in July this year. During the meeting, the PWD was appointed as the executing agency for the project and the AIT as the funding agency. Sources said the proposal was mooted by the higher officials of the AIT.

The AIT has passed a resolution in this regard, though the final nod of the government is awaited. The proposed project is worth Rs. 102.84 crore, of which the executive engineer, Central Works Division Number two, has sought release. Sources said the AIT was yet to transfer funds for the project to the PWD.

The trust, which presently has not more than Rs. 86 crore in hand, is undertaking developmental works worth Rs. 100 crore. Mainly dependent on the auction of its properties for raising funds, the AIT had managed to raise Rs. 60 crore in June this year, and hopes to raise another Rs. 50 crore from the auction scheduled to be held in November.

Sources say the proposed works have been listed at 16, 17 and 18 spots in the trust's list.
The trust has already undertaken the work on the construction of a flyover at Kitchlew Chowk, besides funding the installation of CCTV cameras and expansion of the Bhandari Bridge.

AIT chairman Sandeep Rishi said that under Section 69-A, the AIT funds projects outside its schemes.

"The AIT has passed a resolution in this regard, but the final approval of the government is awaited. Funds would be raised through auction of properties of the trust, and would be transferred to the PWD after the final approval of the government," he said.

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