With an aim to project Punjab as the "tourist destination" on the world map, the Punjab government has successfully completed the first phase of opening a casino near Mattewara village, 30 km from Ludhiana.
Sekhulwal, Garhi Fazal, Haider Nagar, Mattewara, Salempur and Salkiana villages, which till now came in the news for floods during the monsoon, are on their way to gain popularity for being the "land donors" for one of the most prestigious projects of the SAD-BJP government.
The state government had formulated a committee to earmark the land for the project. The committee comprises Ludhiana deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari, who has been appointed chairman with the SDM (Ludhiana East) as the member secretary, tehsildar along with other officials, whose lands are involved, as the members of the committee. The sarpanches of the above villages in addition to the Sahnewal MLA are also the members of this committee.
Sources said a total of 1,207 acres of government land in the above villages has been identified for the "project casino" and that the above pool of the government land could be transferred in name of PWD so as to proceed with the project.
Sources also stated that approximately 600 acres belong to the department of horticulture and animal husbandry, while 545 acres belong to the panchayats of above villages and the remaining 62 acres belong to the forest department. The committee chairman will submit the report to the chief secretary on Tuesday.
A member of the committee, while giving the details of the report, stated that there were some ongoing litigations pertaining to some specific chunks of the "proposed land", which the committee members have asked the government to deal with before finalising the project. "The next step would be transfer of land in the name of PWD which would be followed by inviting the bidders," he added.
Expressing elation over the project and terming it as a "boon" for people living in the vicinity, sarpanch Nirmal Singh of Garhi Fazal village said, "This will be a road to development and prosperity not only in this area, but in Punjab at large. Every resident is looking forward to its successful execution. Speaking in terms of land prices, there would be a minimum hike of Rs 10 lakh per kila, which will benefit the small as well as big farmers," Singh went added.