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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Nod for Anandpur Sahib-Nanded highway: Badal - Chandigarh

Will facilitate lakhs of devotees to pay obeisance to Sikh shrines and also provide impetus to the overall economic activity along the highway

Various Central ministries have agreed to consider various demands raised by the Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, including the construction of the Anandpur Sahib-Nanded national highway, provide adequate funds for construction of drugs de-addiction centres, include the State under the “Prime Minister Adarsh Gram Yojna” and prepare a master plan for skill training.

Through a series of communications, the Punjab government on Friday claimed that the Union minister for shipping, road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari informed Mr. Badal that the Government of India would soon declare the historic route Sri Anandpur Sahib-Talwandi Sabo-Nanded as a National Highway project. The projected 3080 kms road, which traces the journey of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh would pass through Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Mr. Badal shared that 1305 kms of this was already four-laned. While the highway would facilitate lakhs of devotees to pay obeisance to historic Sikh shrines it would provide impetus to the overall economic and commercial activity in the concerned States.

Mr. Gadkari assured that the ministry would soon issue a notification declaring this route as a national highway and the entire cost on upgradation, realignment and construction of this prestigious national artery would be borne by the Centre. Reiterating his commitment to complete this project on top priority Mr. Gadkari told the Chief Minister that he would personally monitor the progress on regular basis.

De-addiction centres

In another meeting, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot assured Mr. Badal of liberal funding for setting up and running centres for de-addiction, detoxification and rehabilitation of drug addicts in Punjab.

Mr. Gehlot informed Mr. Badal that the Union Government had consented to include Punjab under the “Prime Minister Adarsh Gram Yojna” scheme, aimed at transforming the living standards of the Scheduled Castes’ population in the State.

Expressing gratitude, the Chief Minister said that he had been pleading to get this demand 
implemented as Punjab was the most deserving State, as it had the highest SC population in the country.

While as per 2011 census, SCs accounted for 32 percent of the total population, at least 2800 of 12168 inhabited villages had more that 50 percent SC population.

The Chief Minister also impressed upon Mr. Gehlot for sanction to set up a sports institute dedicated to the physically challenged. He said that the State government has already provided 10 acre land free of cost at Zirakpur to the GoI for this Institute. Union Skill Development Minister, Rajiv Pratap Ruddy informed Mr. Badal that within a fortnight the GoI would announce a master plan, the implementation of which would ensure that Punjab emerged as a hub for skill. 

Source: The Hindu, 21st feb 2015 

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