In a setback to the BJP, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday approved a list of developmental works, which was submitted by SAD leader and Batala Halqa in-charge Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal.
The list includes the construction of new Hansli Bridge on city road, widening of another Hansli Bridge on Jalandhar road and widening and beautification of road from Amritsar bypass to Jalandhar bypass on which Rs 12.5 crore will be spent while the rest of Rs 3.5 crore will be distributed between all the 35 wards of the Batala municipal council.
Talking to HT, Lodhinangal said on his repeated request, about the finalisation of the list of the developmental works for which the government had sanctioned Rs 16 crore, deputy CM had called a meeting of all the administrative officials at Amritsar and after thorough discussion and keeping in mind the necessity of bridges, Badal ordered for deputy director, local bodies department, for the immediate construction of bridges and road between Amritsar bypass to Jalandhar bypass. He asked the public works department (PWD) to carry on these three works immediately so that all three works shall be completed by the end of this year.
Regarding the insanitation complaints made by SAD councilors to the deputy CM during his sangat darshan programme at Batala, Badal fixed the responsibility of the deputy director for ensuring proper sanitation in the entire town. “One tractor-trolley for every two adjoining wards and 4-5 employees of the sanitation department must go to every ward and will report to the councilor of that particular ward,” Badal ordered.
Lodhinangal said Badal also assured that the work of renovation of two girl schools must be considered on priority and very soon, the government will sanction funds for them.
Mukesh Kumar, XEN, local bodies department, confirmed that a list regarding the construction of a new bridge and widening of other bridge and road was approved by the deputy CM and very soon, they were going to float tenders in this regard.
It is to be noted that the state government had sanctioned Rs 16 crore for the development of the industrial town after which a district-level committee was formed under the supervision of Gurdaspur deputy commissioner (DC) Abhinav Trikha.
As the funds were sanctioned for the development of the town, the district administration had asked the municipal council officials to submit a list of works. The administration reportedly also asked the council authorities to get the list finalised from the Lodhinangal before submitting to the committee, but as the functioning of local municipal council is run by the BJP-Congress alliance, the council authorities resisted to approach Lodhinangal and local MC president Naresh Mahajan directly submitted his list.
Upset with this, Lodhinangal prepared a fresh list after taking estimates from the PWD, which includes the construction of two bridges and renovation of government girl’s senior secondary school and widening of road from Amritsar bypass to Jalandhar bypass and submitted it to the DC.
As expected, Lodhinangal’s list gained favour and DC forward Lodhinangal’s list to the chief secretary for approval following which angry BJP leaders, Naresh Mahajan and former BJP MLA, Jagdish Sahni rushed to Chandigarh and register their protest with the deputy CM and tried to convince him that as the construction of the bridge was the responsibility of the drainage department thus, the department concerned should undertake this work and `16 crore sanctioned by the government must be spent in the 35 wards of the council.
Later, the administration again constituted a committee under Batala SDM Saurav Arora, who inspected both the lists and later submitted his report to the government.