As Amritsar lacks infrastructure and faces many civic issues, the upcoming meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the civic body authorities on June 25 has brought high hopes to the fund-crunched municipal corporation (MC).
Modi will be launching the Smart City Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) projects on June 25 and both mayor Bakshi Ram Arora and municipal commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal have been invited to attend the function.
At the meeting, Arora and Sabharwal will apprise the PM of various issues, proposals and pending projects pertaining to Amritsar.
Confirming this, Arora said, “Mayors and commissioners of various cities from India have been invited for the inaugural function in New Delhi and we will be a part of it. Since Amritsar has already been brought under the Smart City Project, a presentation in this regarding will be given.”
“There are many pending projects in the city, and we have to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on such projects. We hope to get a nod by the PM for the implementation of the AMRUT scheme for the development of Amritsar,” the mayor added.
“As the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) will be now named as AMRUT, we hope many of our pending projects such as construction work of Rigoh Bridge, Bhandari Bridge and railway overbridge (ROB) on the Tarn Taran Road will be passed under the new scheme,” said the mayor.
The mayor claimed, “Under the AMRUT, we will also get the pending money sanctioned for the Rs 109-crore Solid Waste Management (SWM) Project. Rs 62 crore has already been sanctioned whereas the rest will hopefully be sanctioned under the AMRUT.”
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had included Amritsar under the Smart City Project, hence details regarding its needs will also be put up there.
Claiming that the meeting can bring in a lot to Amritsar, Sabharwal said, “Amritsar has tremendous potential for tourism, while many developmental projects are in the pipeline. Since Amritsar has historical and religious significance, a lot can be done for the city. We will be carrying every detail regarding roads, sewerage, transport and other infrastructure requirements here.”
Sabharwal said, “A project report on the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) under which Amritsar has been chosen will also be prepared.”
Notably, Amritsar hosts thousands of tourists everyday, but lacks infrastructure. The sanitation and hygiene are major issues that the government has failed to tackle.
Besides, the MC lacks funds for the development and many a times the authorities have sought bailout packages. Bad roads, garbage, waterlogging, sewerage, traffic chaos and many such issues make the residents suffer.