Opening of the Hussainiwala border with Pakistan for trade is on the agenda of the central government as it was before the 1971 Indo-Pak war and it may happen soon. This was stated union home minister P Chidambaram during a meeting with a seven-member delegation from Ferozepur in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Congress MLA from Guruharsahai Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi led the delegation comprising border area farmers and residents.
Sodhi told Hindustan Times here on Wednesday that the home minister assured the delegation that in near future, Hussainiwala would be provided with facilities on the lines of the Integrated Check Post at Attari to bring prosperity to the entire Malwa region.
Chidambaram was also apprised of the daily problems being faced by border farmers, especially those who cultivate their land across the fence.
The home minister was urged to relax in the timing from 7 am to 7 pm to enable farmers devote more time on fields so as to increase their productivity, to which Chidambaram instantly agreed, said Sodhi.
The annual compensation of Rs 2,500 per acre for farmers having land across the fence along the Indo-Pak border had not been paid since 2001, the delegation informed the home minister. It was demanded that the compensation should be hiked to Rs 15,000 per acre.
"Preference should be given to border area in recruitment to paramilitary forces as due to lack of educational and job avenues, youth were falling to drugs," said Sodhi.