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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Ludhiana’s ‘Atal Apartments’ relaunched, this time by Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi

🔴 In October this year, the project also ran into an unusual political controversy after the Ludhiana Improvement Trust proposed to rechristen and relaunch the project as 'Sahir Ludhianvi Apartments' - as a tribute to poet, lyricist and poet from Ludhiana.

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana |
Updated: December 17, 2021 10:41:18 am
Atal apartments, ChanniEven as the project 'Atal Apartments' was conceptualised back in 2010-11, it has failed to take off on the ground till date. (Express Photo)

A decade after the then SAD-BJP government laid the foundation stone of a high-rise residential apartment in Ludhiana named after former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi laid its foundation, on Thursday, ahead of Punjab polls.

Even as the project ‘Atal Apartments’ was conceptualised back in 2010-11, it has failed to take off on the ground till date.

In October this year, the project also ran into an unusual political controversy after the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), a state government body, proposed to rechristen and relaunch the project as ‘Sahir Ludhianvi Apartments’ – as a tribute to timeless poet and lyricist and poet who belonged to Ludhiana. However, following the political backlash, LIT decided to drop the move and stuck to ‘Atal Apartments’. Not just the BJP, but it’s former ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had also opposed the move and termed it as an insult of ‘statesman’ like Vajpayee. On Thursday, Punjab government led by CM Channi relaunched the project formally and laid the foundation stone, a decade after a similar stone was laid by SAD-BJP government in 2011.

Foundation stone led by SAD-BJP Govt in 2011. (Express Photo)

A high-rise housing scheme launched in 2010-11 during SAD-BJP regime, ‘Atal Apartments’ was named after former Prime Minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Initially, it was proposed that the project will have high-rise flats on 8.80 acres of prime land in Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar of Ludhiana. The project was launched by LIT with a claim that it would be the first high-rise housing project in Ludhiana with apartments up to the 12th floor. During its conceptualization in 2010 and further the launch in 2011, the local bodies department in Punjab was with the BJP. In 2010, BJP’s Manoranjan Kalia was the local bodies minister under whom the project was conceptualized and foundation stone was laid by his successor Tikshan Sud on December 21, 2011- also from BJP. Speaking to The Indian Express, Raman Balasubramanium, Congress leader and chairman LIT, said that the ‘initial project had many technical loopholes’ which have been ‘rectified now’ and ‘project will finally take off on the ground.’

“We dropped the plan to rename it after Sahir Ludhianvi because then we had to amend all documents and clearances. Also, our aim was to pay a tribute to Sahir Ludhianvi and not to insult Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was a political stalwart cutting across party lines. The political backlash we faced was uncalled for. We are now coming up with a fresh project as a tribute to Sahir and an auditorium, memorial and library will come up at SCD Government College on 25 acres,” he said.

Meanwhile, after laying the foundation stone, Channi said that the project was being constructed by Channi under “100% Self Financing Scheme” and would have 576 flats upto 12 floors (336 HIG and 240 MIG). He said that providing affordable housing to its residents is the first and foremost priority of the Congress-led Punjab government. Channi said that land for the proposed flats is in the possession of LIT adding that interested persons can apply for this scheme till December 18, 2021 and the draw of lots will be carried out on December 24.

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