NEW DELHI: Taking forward the development centric agenda spelled out by the Chief Minister, Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh in an emphatic way, the Local Government, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu today met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons and Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri to seek the Union Government`s assistance for further developing religious and heritage memorials besides carrying out a comprehensive revamping of the sites related with National Valour in Punjab. Apart from this, the smart city project would get kick started in the 3 cities. The office of the Chief Minister, Punjab, would be immediately releasing Rs. 50 crore for this purpose as its component and in total the 3 cities of Punjab would get Rs. 350 crore regarding the project.
Revealing that the three Ministers have assured all out support to the State Government for its efforts to develop the religious and heritage sites as well as memorials in Punjab, Sidhu disclosed that the Union Tourism Minister has cleared Punjab Government`s project worth Rs. 100 crores out of which Rs. 32 Crore would be spent on infrastructural development and facilitation of pilgrims at Sri Anandpur Sahib. In further bonanza for Punjab, Sidhu elaborated that the Union Minister also gave nod to Rs. 20 Crore for Fatehgarh Sahib, Rs. 18 Crore for Chamkaur Sahib, Rs. 10 Crore for Jallianwala Bagh, Rs. 15 crore for Hussainiwala and Khatkar Kalan memorials related with Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev, Rs. 3 crore for Saragarhi apart from Rs. 2 Crore for Kalanaur. He also gave detailed presentation of Punjab Government`s futuristic vision in this regard.
Navjot Sidhu further said that the Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who is visiting Punjab on January 6 to meet Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, gave assurance for the infrastructural development and beautification of heritage city of Sri Amritsar Sahib. He also said that Puri assured to initiate development projects under 'Hriday' Plan, Smart City, AMRUT and other centrally sponsored schemes for infrastructure oriented development and facilities for holy city Amritsar which sees an average footfall of more than 1 Lakh people from various states of India and foreign countries daily.
Divulging more, Sidhu said that now all decks have been cleared for the perfect execution of the smart city project. He further said that the Punjab Government would contribute Rs. 50 crore as its own share in the project with the State getting Rs. 350 crore for the project in 3 cities. He also added that as part of preparation for the meeting of the Union Minister Hardeep Puri with the Chief Minister on 6th January, 2018 at Chandigarh, a team of the Union Ministry would arrive in Chandigarh on 1st January to hold consultations with his department to chalk out the roadmap for the meeting scheduled for 6th January, 2018.
Asserting that Punjab has immense potential to be transformed as a tourism hub he said that the state government's plans to develop tourism sites under different circuits of Sikhism, Sufism, National Valour, Mughals, and Historical would act as game changers in not only bringing but firmly placing Punjab on the global tourism map. He also added that this initiative would be carried out to the fruition in a phased manner.
Prominent among others who were present in meetings included A. Venu Prasad Secretary Local Government, Vikas Partap Secretary, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Ajoy Sharma CEO, PMIDC and Karnesh Sharma, Director, Local Government.