Congress Member of Parliament from Gurdaspur Partap Singh Bajwa on Friday urged Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats Jairam Ramesh to impress upon the Centre to swap a chunk of Indian land with Pakistan to get Gurdwara Shri Kartarpur Sahib located in Pakistan shifted to Indian Territory.
Addressing a gathering in the presence of Ramesh in Ahmaddiya headquarters in Qadian town in Gurdaspur,Bajwa cited an example of swapping of land with Pakistan for the memorials of martyrs Bhagat Singh,Sukhdev and Rajguru at Hussainiwala.
The land for memorial of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh,Sukhdev and Rajguru was swapped to Indian side some years after the partition of the two countries. I urge you (Ramesh) to take up the issue with the Union government to get Gurdwara Shri Katarpur Sahib shifted to Indian Territory in lieu of a chunk of land India can transfer to Pakistan, Bajwa said.
There has been a long pending demand for a corridor to Pakistan from Dera Baba Nanak town in Gurdaspur to enable Sikh devotees to visit the Sikh Gurdwara in Pakistan. A large number of devotees have had to resort to paying obeisance at the Gurdwara from the border using a telescope.
Bajwa also sought a special package for developing infrastructure in border districts. Punjabis and Bengalis have suffered most in terms of economic losses during the freedom struggle, Bajwa requested Ramesh. Underlining that special incentives to hill states had resulted in the flight of industry from the state,Bajwa urged Ramesh to create an atmosphere for revival of industry,particularly in the border belt.
Ramesh addressed representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions and spoke about the Centres plans to ameliorate the conditions of the people living in villages in border districts.
Highlighting the drinking water problem in the state,Ramesh said that the Union government was ready to provide every possible assistance to provide potable drinking water in Punjab,free of arsenic and uranium. He had come to know about the problem during his earlier Punjab visit to Lehra Mohabbat in Malwa belt about four years ago.
On grain storage issue,Ramesh was apprehensive about giving away grain to labourers under MNREGA instead of cash saying similar experiment in the past had not yielded desired results.