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Last Updated : Nov 23, 2018 05:43 PM IST | Source: PTI

Amarinder Singh lays foundation stone of 26 projects to mark 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev

These projects include upgradation of infrastructure in three historic towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Dera Baba Nanak and Batala.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday laid foundation stone for 26 development projects worth Rs 150 crore as part of year-long celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

These projects include upgradation of infrastructure in three historic towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Dera Baba Nanak and Batala.

Three high-level bridges, two foot-over bridges and another high-level bridge on a creek of Beas river, new rest house at Sultanpur Lodhi and several other projects will be completed by July 2019.

Amarinder Singh, who further announced projects and welfare schemes to the tune of Rs 3,312 crore to facilitate pilgrims and to commemorate the historic occasion, also launched a drive to plant 550 saplings in every village throughout the state in the next one year at a total cost of Rs 10.5 crore.

Saplings of indigenous trees shall be planted at appropriate places in consultation with gram panchayats, the chief minister said.

He appealed to people to plant saplings of fruit trees at their homes.

Amarinder Singh announced the release of 32 prisoners and remission of term for another 2,952 to mark the occasion.

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, was born in 1469. His 549th birth anniversary falls today.

The Punjab government has decided to set up a committee under additional chief secretary (home), with principal secretary (jails), DG intelligence & ADGP (jails) as members, to review all cases of prisoners who have had good conduct and can be considered for early release. The committee shall submit its report in 60 days.

The government is also planning to build Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji Marg.

The chief minister has also announced a Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana in which 43 lakh families will be brought under insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh at a cost of Rs 371 crore, with effect from January 1, 2019.

The state government has also embarked upon an ambitious programme to spruce up the infrastructure of villages under the Smart Village Campaign (SVC) in a phased manner.

Wide variety of developmental works like sewerage system, paving of streets etc. shall be taken up in these villages over the next three-and-a-half years.

Amarinder Singh said the project's aim is to make the villages self-sustaining by creating an environment to enable the local communities to achieve their capabilities through contextually appropriate technologies, systems, structures and processes.

Besides, 36 villages and 11 nagar panchayats visited by Guru Nanak Dev have been identified for development at Rs 150 crore.

An institute of inter-faith studies will be set up at the Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar at Rs 510 crore, while Pind Babe Nanak Da museum will be established at Sultanpur Lodhi to commemorate the historic occasion, the chief minister said.

He also announced to construct a college for girls in Mahablipur village, 5 kms from Sultanpur Lodhi.

A sum of Rs 180 crore has been allocated for upgradation of roads and bridges to improve connectivity to Sultanpur Lodhi with Majha, Doaba and Malwa areas, in order to cater to huge rush of pilgrims expected to converge here during the year-long celebrations.

A government medical college and super speciality hospital will be established at Kotli Nangal village in Gurdaspur district for Rs 400 crore, in Public Private Partnership mode, and Guru Nanak Dev ji Centre for Invention, Innovation, Incubation & Training (CIIIT) will be established as a hub in main campus of the Punjab Technical University at Kapurthala.

A Guru Nanak Dev auditorium in PTU Kapurthala and a bio-diversity park in Kanjli village of Kapurthala district are among the other projects announced by the chief minister.

He said a railway station at Sultanpur Lodhi would also be upgraded, as announced by the Ministry of Railways, which had acceded to the state government's request on the issue.

The chief minister also welcomed the Centre's decision to release commemorative coins and postage stamps.

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First Published on Nov 23, 2018 05:38 pm
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