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Amarinder Singh meets Gadkari, seeks early clearance of ring roads around Punjab cities


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Thursday met Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and sought his intervention in clearing the state's pending projects under his ministry, including early approval for ring road projects around major cities.
He invited the Union minister to visit Punjab and extend help in reviving MSMEs in the state. The chief minister also urged Gadkari to release the third instalment of a central grant of Rs 3.72 crore for Mohali Hitech Metal cluster and implementation of SFURTI in Wood Inlay Cluster, Hoshiarpur.
Gadkari assured Singh that all Punjab-related issues pending with his ministries would be looked into and addressed at the earliest.
He also assured him of full support and cooperation to the state government in pursuance of their road infrastructure development projects, besides various initiatives for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
According to a spokesperson, Singh informed Gadkari that the Punjab government had already agreed to bear 50 per cent cost of land acquisition for building of ring roads around Mohali/Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Sangrur and Bathinda, in line with the MORT&H guidelines of Bharatmala.
Such a new project would be taken up for consideration by the ministry only if the state/agency is ready to bear at least half the cost of land acquisition. The chief minister said the ministry has already approved the ring road around Bathinda, he said.
Singh also sought the Centre's immediate approval of funds to the tune of Rs 636.45 lakh for appointment of technical consultant for the ring roads project to work out the alignments needed for the roads.
He also urged Gadkari to expedite granting clearance to the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway project, for which the Centre has okayed a plan of constructing 800 km of expressways under Bharatmala Scheme Phase-I.
The chief minister also impressed upon the Union minister the need for approval to four laning of Patiala-Sirhind-Morinda road and declaring it national highway. The Centre was pressing for its development as a greenfield project while the state wanted it to be a brownfield project.
Singh requested Gadkari to declare Banga-Garhshankar-Anandpur Sahib-Naina Devi Road as national highway in the current fiscal and pointed out that this demand has been raised by the Jathedar of Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib as the road in question was in extremely bad shape.
It may be recalled that Gadkari had earlier laid the foundation stone for upgrading the Banga-Garhshankar-Anandpur Sahib-Naina Devi Road.
The Punjab chief minister also met Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, who acceded to his request to hold a joint meeting with the Union finance minister to resolve the Rs 31,000 crore food account loan legacy issue.
Paswan agreed to organise the meeting after the Budget session, an official spokesperson said, adding he also agreed to allow Punjab create additional storage space for crops this Rabi season and modalities for the same will soon be worked out.

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First Published: Jun 27 2019 | 6:55 PM IST

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