GREENFIELD CONNECTIVITY: Capt govt, Harsimrat in credit war
Both the Congress government and Harsimrat, who belongs to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), claimed credit for a new Greenfield Road link to Amritsar from NakodarUpdated: Jun 03, 2020 00:38 IST
The Capt Amarinder Singh government and Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday claimed credit for a new Greenfield Road link to Amritsar from Nakodar via Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib and Khadoor Sahib announced by the Centre as part of Delhi-Amritsar Expressway.
Both the Congress government and Harsimrat, who belongs to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), said the Centre had acceded to their requests.
A Punjab government spokesperson said the Centre had accepted the CM’s proposal to convert the Punjab stretch of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway to ‘Greenfield project’, whereas Harsimrat Badal thanked Union highways minister Nitin Gadkari for acceding to her request to amend the alignment of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway to create a new direct link between Amritsar and Delhi.
In a release, the Punjab government said the CM had raised the issue with the Centre after local citizens and their representatives expressed concern over the project’s failure to connect the religious and historical towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, and Tarn Taran. “During the VC today, the Union minister told the CM that, after detailed deliberations with the state government officials and examination of all aspects of the proposal, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had approved the alignment of Phase-I of the Delhi–Amritsar–Katra Expressway with Delhi-Gurdaspur section as Greenfield project,” said the spokesperson. Amarinder has also agreed to an early meeting between NHAI and state government authorities, as suggested by Gadkari.
Harsimrat Badal, while terming the decision as a “historic development”, said it had fulfilled a long standing demand of the residents of Amritsar and was also in tune with the original alignment proposed during SAD-BJP tenure.“Under the new alignment which she had proposed, the expressway will now connect the five historic Sikh shrines at Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, Tarn Taran and Sri Amritsar Sahib,” she said in a statement. It said the Union minister also requested Gadkari to name the expressway between Nakodar and Amritsar in honour of Guru Sahiban and he assured to take this request into consideration.
MALIK ALSO CLAIMS CREDIT
Not to be left behind, BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Amritsar Shwait Malik said that Gadkari has acceded to his request for inclusion of Amritsar in the project. Malik said that with his efforts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gadkari and Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri got this express highway passed in 2016 as he had raised this matter in Parliament three times. “Amritsar is more in need of this express highway because it has several important religious and historic venues,” he said.