Senior Congress leader and Abohar MLA Sunil Jakhar on Friday claimed that the SAD-BJP government in the state is blatantly befooling people as it re-laid the foundation stone of a water supply and sewerage project in Barnala on Friday with the same fanfare as it had done two years ago.
Jakhar claimed that deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had re-laid the stone in Barnala at a proposed cost of Rs 85 crore; the same project had seen the foundation-laying ceremony about two years ago on February 28, 2014, and at that time the cost of the project was Rs 103 crore. “I don’t know what calculation they have done now that the cost has come down, but neither the tenders have been called now nor did it happen in 2014, but only the proposed value has been slashed,” he said.
“There are more such projects that would see re-laying of foundation stones,” Jakhar told a press conference. He said that in February 2014, a foundation stone was laid for sewerage and water works in Abohar at a proposed cost of Rs 73 crore, but nothing had happened and the state government was planning to restart the project and it would also witness the stonelaying ceremony again.
Speaking on the rechristening of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) to Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transfor mation ( AMRUT), Jakhar said nothing had changed but the projects coming to the state under the new scheme had been made difficult. “In JNNURM, for such projects, the states were to contribute 30% (20% by the state government and 10% by civic bodies) and the rest was to be given by the Centre, but now states are to contribute 50% (25% by the state and 25% by civic bodies) and 50% by the Centre,” Jakhar said, adding that AMRUT has no meaning for the state as civic bodies had no money.
‘Where’s enhanced old-age pension?’
Jakhar questioned the government’s promise to increase the old-age pension from Rs 250 to Rs 500 per month, from January 1, 2016, which, he said, was announced when the state was in a crisis after the sacrilege incidents last year. “But the promise was not met.”