Amid the current countrywide cash crunch, stage has been set for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s function at Bathinda on Friday when he will lay the foundation of an AIIMS hospital to be built on 177 acres of land at a cost of Rs 926 crore.
After becoming the PM, this is Modi’s first visit to Bathinda, where he had earlier addressed a rally for Harsimrat Badal during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls campaign.
After the foundation laying ceremony, Modi will also address a rally, for which around 1,700 buses have been arranged to ferry people from the adjoining Assembly constituencies of Bathinda, Faridkot, Muktsar, two constituencies of Mansa and one constituency of Barnala, sources said, adding that hiring buses alone would cost Rs 80 lakh.
On Thursday, there were no staff at the offices of district transport officers at Bathinda and Faridkot, reportedly busy as they were arranging buses for the function, sources said.
Though 40,000 chairs have been put up at the venue as per rough estimates, SAD leaders claimed they expected nearly a lakh people. Charanjeet Singh Brar, OSD to Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, said, “We are aiming for one lakh people. Apart from 1,700 buses, an equal number of cars will also be there to ferry people. It will be a show of strength as AIIMS project is very prestigious for us.” Asked about the expenditure, he said, “It is a government function. I have no idea.”
After the Bathinda function, PM will leave for another event at Anandpur Sahib. SAD sources said they were aiming for big numbers for the function because AAP’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal’s rally at Kotshamir village of Bathinda on November 21 had attracted thousands from two constituencies only.
The deadline to complete this hospital is 48 months. Out of this 320 will be super speciality beds. A medical college of 100 students and nursing college of 60 students will also come up in this place.