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State set to get 2 more districts

Punjab is set to get two more districts and three more towns having municipal corporations.

Punjab is set to get two more districts and three more towns having municipal corporations (MC),bringing the number of districts to 22 and that of MCs to nine in the state. The two proposed districts are Fazilka — including Abohar and parts of Jalalabad,which are currently a part of Ferozepur district — and Pathankot,which is at present a part of Gurdaspur district. The new MCs will be in Pathankot,Moga and Phagwara.

Ferozepur and Gurdaspur are border districts and by further bifurcating them,the state will get six districts along the international border. At present,there are four districts along the border — Ferozepur,Tarantarn,Amritsar and Gurdaspur.

A senior official said: “Yesterday,the local bodies department had sent the file to the chief minister’s office proposing that Pathankot,Moga and Phagwara Municipal Councils be upgraded to municipal corporations. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is likely to give the nod in a day or two. Local Bodies Minister Tikshan Sud has already cleared the file.”

At present there are six municipal corporation cities in the state — Amritsar,Jalandhar,Ludhiana,Patiala,Bathinda and Mohali. During the tenure of the SAD-BJP government,Bathinda and Mohali were made corporation cities,now three more are likely to be added to the list.

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The BJP has been demanding that the two districts of Fazilka and Pathankot be created. It also wanted Pathnakot to be made a corporation city — the current state BJP president,Ashwani Sharma,hails from the area.

A few months ago,a two-member committee of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and then local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia was constituted to look into the matter. But it did not submit any report as Kalia had to resign from cabinet.

The demand of creating the districts of Fazilka and Pathankot had been pending for nearly 20 years. In case of Fazilka,people from Abohar found it difficult to reach the district headquarters of Ferozepur. Also,Pathankot was very far from the district headquarters of Gurdaspur.

First published on: 22-07-2011 at 00:12 IST
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