Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Monday laid the foundation stones for seven developmental projects, including a cancer hospital, a multipurpose indoor hall and a girls hostel, even as the BJP claimed that the Congress government in state was trying to claim the credit for projects cleared by the Centre.
The seven projects, to come up at a total cost of Rs 150.85 crore, also include a food street, a new library, one railway over bridge on the Jalandhar Cantonment-Hoshiarpur line, and a community centre, according to an official release. Amarinder also announced sub-tehsil status for Sham Chaurasi, and said work has already been initiated on the establishment of a government college in Dholbaha. The cancer hospital in Hoshiarpur will be constructed at a cost of Rs 45 crore, he said.
Incidentally, the the foundation stone of the same cancer hospital was laid by Congress MP from Jalandhar, Chaudhary Santokh Singh, in 2013 during the UPA-2 regime. Santokh Singh was present when Punjab CM laid the fresh foundation stone for the hospital. Information procured from Civil Hospital, Hoshiarpur, revealed that the mandatory clearance to set up a Radio Therapy Unit at the 50-bed hospital has been secured from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Hoshiarpur MP and Union minister Vijay Sampla hit out at Amarinder “for trying to take the credit by laying the foundation stones” for the multipurpose indoor hall and the girls hostel. “The fact is, Centre had sanctioned Rs 7 crore for hall under the ‘Khelo India’ scheme. Also, I had forwarded the proposal for the girls hostel and not the state government,” Sampla said, adding that the Punjab CM was misleading people.
Amarinder, meanwhile, announced his government’s plans to come up with a policy to develop an industrial belt from Pathankot to Chandigarh. Expressing concern over the contamination of the state’s sub-soil, leading to spread of cancer, he said his government is aimed to link all cities with surface water for which projects have been launched in the main towns of Patiala, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana. “Providing clean drinking water is a priority of our government,” he said, adding that cancer hospitals had already been established in the southern part of the state and now the focus was on the northern belt.
He said his government wants Punjab to become an educational hub. “This would also help prevent the youth from making a beeline abroad to seek better opportunities,”
he said. In another major announcement, he said a railway over bridge will be constructed on the Jalandhar Cantt-Hoshiarpur line at a cost of Rs 81 crore. The project would ensure seamless and hassle-free travel for commuters in the region.
‘AAP-SAD (Taksali) tie-up of no consequence’
Amarinder dismissed the AAP-SAD (Taksali) alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Punjab as “of no consequence” and reiterated that Congress did not need any alliance in the state for the Lok Sabha polls. “Congress in Punjab is fully ready for the polls and is well placed to win on its own. In a democracy, it is the performance of the government that matters and people vote for those whom they see working for their welfare,” the chief minister said. ENS