Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered a series of initiatives to ensure planned, sustainable and holistic development of Amritsar, with special focus on the problem-stricken Walled City.
Presiding over a high level meeting to review the ongoing works in the city, the Chief Minister directed the concerned officials to follow total transparency in the execution of existing projects, such as the Smart City, AMRUT, HRIDAY, etc. He also advocated the need for pinning responsibility for all ill-conceived projects that had led to the state exchequer incurring huge losses.
Underlining the need to provide world class civic amenities to the residents of the holy city, the Chief Minister instructed the concerned officials to revisit the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) project started by the previous Congress government (2002-2007) for the walled city, whose residents were living in a quagmire of problems. He directed the officials to initiate the process of replacement of the old water and sewerage pipes in the walled city.
The Chief Minister also gave the nod to the assessment of the viability of supplying surface water for drinking purpose to the city residents from Upper Bari Doab Canal. He said that this could, on the one hand, help save the precious ground water and, on the other, provide clean and potable drinking water to the city residents. Captain Amarinder said that the system of supplying surface water to cities for drinking could eventually also be replicated in other parts of the state.
The Chief Minister also asked the Chief Secretary to explore the feasibility of setting up an autonomous body for lifting and tackling of the garbage problem in the city. It was important to address this gigantic problem in a highly professional manner for the benefit of the state in general, and the holy city in particular, he stressed.
The meeting was attended, among others, by Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Principal secretary to Chief Minister Tejveer Singh, Additional Chief Secretary DP Reddy, CEO Invest Punjab Anirudh Tiwari, Secretary Tourism Hussan Lal and Secretary Local government B Balamurghan.