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Punjab opens purse strings for Mohali; PU gets Rs 42 crore

Budget 2018: 200-bed medical college, upgrade of potable water supply infrastructure and shooting range in the pipeline

punjab Updated: Mar 25, 2018 14:54 IST
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Mohali/Chandigarh
Punjab,Punjab budget,PU
This includes a one-time component of Rs 6 crore this year to help the university meet past deficit, according to the speech of finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal. (HT File )

Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Saturday announced a slew of projects for Mohali district. As part of the second budget of the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government since it came to power in February 2017, Manpreet announced a medical college, potable water supply upgrade, a marble market, transport nagar and an automobile market for the district.

The government also plans to ramp up the existing shooting range in Phase 6 to a centre of excellence.

Rs 20 crore for water supply upgrade

The Punjab government announced Rs 20 crore to upgrade water supply infrastructure in Kandi (sub-mountainous) belt in Mohali, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr districts. In Mohali, the move will benefit Mullanpur, Kharar and Nayagaon. Mullanpur has been declared as state’s first Smart City and a destination for mega projects, such as medicity, education city and eco-city. Along with Mullanpur, Kharar and Nayagaon have huge migratory population that every summer struggles for potable water supply.

Medical college

With the aim of upgrading the district’s health infrastructure, government also announced a 200-bed medical college at Mohali, that will come up at a cost of Rs 300 crore. Health infrastructure in Mohali is far from satisfactory with the town having only one civil hospital, which has been struggling for want of adequate infrastructure. The move is expected to also ease pressure on PGIMER, Chandigarh.

The government also announced to develop the shooting range at Phase 6 as a centre of excellence. The budget provided Rs 6 crore for upgrading shooting ranges at Mohali and Muktsar. A dedicated marble market, transport nagar and an automobile market were also proposed by the finance minister.

Local MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said the marble market was planned in Kambali and Jagatpura villages on Airport road. “Government will ensure that land is acquired soon to complete the projects in a time-bound manner,” Sidhu added. Mohali’s name also figures in the Rs 100-crore project to upgrade the court complexes of eight districts.

Rs 42 crore for PU

The Punjab government in its budget on Saturday announced a grant of Rs 42 crore to the fund-starved Panjab University (PU). This includes a one-time component of Rs 6 crore this year to help the university meet past deficit, according to the speech of finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal. The PU has a deficit of more than Rs 100 crore.

Thus, if the one-time component is taken out, the annual grant has been enhanced to Rs 36 crore, which is up from Rs 33 crore according to the minister. However, the state had actually given Rs 27 crore to PU last year. The other Rs 6 crore was given to constituent colleges in Punjab. This time, the minister “also” announced Rs 8 crore for colleges, though it was not immediately clear to PU officials if this is over and above the Rs 42 crore.

The PU officials, who did not want to be named at this stage, gave a breakup, saying the announcement comprises an annual grant of Rs 27 crore plus a 6% hike, as was promised by the state. This means the annual grant will be Rs 28.6 crore now. Plus, there is Rs 6 crore one-time grant to meet deficit, and Rs 8 crore for colleges.

First Published: Mar 25, 2018 14:53 IST