Drought aid: Sukhbir accuses Centre of exacting 'revenge'
Bathinda: The Punjab government on Wednesday alleged the Centre of taking revenge for the Congress' defeat in the Punjab assembly elections by not giving drought relief to the state.
The exclusion of Punjab from the Union Government's about Rs 2,000 crore drought relief package was a latest example of its anti-Punjab stance and was revenge on its part, state Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal alleged.
Attending a function on Bathinda-Lambi road, he said Punjab government had demanded Rs 2,380 crore from the Centre in the wake of drought-like conditions prevailing in the region.
When asked about any assurance given by the Prime Minister on drought relief, the Deputy Chief Minister said until financial aid was given, one could not say anything.
Sukhbir further alleged the UPA government was "hell bent" on squeezing non-UPA ruled states and was imposing unnecessary riders for allocation of central funds.
"When coal, marble and hydro power producing states were entitled to collect royalty then why is Punjab being denied to collect levy taxes on foodgrains being produced here?" he asked.
On the project he inaugurated today, Sukhbir said the Bathinda-Lambi Railway Overbridge (ROB) would enhance connectivity.
The state government had decided to construct 27 ROBs, RUBs (Railway Underbridge) with an estimate cost of Rs 550 crore in the next three years and work on 13 of these has already started.
He said a Rs 2,500 crore project of 4 laning the 220 kms Bathinda-Patiala-Zirakpur expressway would provide a vital link to Malwa area and shorten the journey time significantly after its completion.
He also announced the 4 laning of another vital link of Malwa heartland through Kotkapura-Faridkot-Zira, with holy city Amritsar and expressed confidence that the construction would start from the next year.
Announcing to set up an education city on 300 acres in Bathinda, the Deputy Chief Minister said top professional colleges and business schools were being contacted to set up their campuses there.
The state government has decided to set up such education cities at SAS Nagar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Bathinda and Amritsar.
The construction of Bathinda domestic airport terminal was almost complete and he expressed confidence that domestic flights would commenc in the next 2 to 3 months.