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Drive against illegal colonies, buildings to continue: Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu

Sidhu is adamant for the drive despite some Congress MLAs had complained about him to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh

Drive against illegal colonies, buildings to continue: Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu
Pic courtesy: PTI

Kapurthala/Amritsar: Punjab Local Bodies and Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday reiterated that the drive against illegal colonies and buildings in the state would continue despite resistance by some people, including from his own party.

The government would take a tough stand against the illegal colonizers and builders who would obstruct the ongoing drive in the state, Sidhu said while talking to media persons here after inspecting the ongoing repair of heritage buildings in Kapurthala.

Replying to a question regarding complaints by some Congress MLAs against him to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, he said he was not bothered about "such complaints and his department would continue the drive".

Notably, Congress MLA of Jalandhar (West) constituency, Sushil Rinku, had staged a protest for nearly two hours on Friday and allegedly did not let a team of the municipal corporation demolish an illegal structure in his constituency.

Rinku had said that the "state government should make some policy for these poor people whose structures would be demolished".

Sidhu, during a visit to Amritsar, said, "I am with Punjab and I will not spare anyone who tries to grab the land of Punjab."

"I cannot allow violations and not take action against those not taking permissions. I am firm on my stand," he added.

"Punjab Government cannot surrender and just allow people to do violations and grab the land of Punjab," Sidhu said.

In Kapurthala, the minister inspected the ongoing maintenance work of the Darbar Hall and the Moorish Mosque.

He said the government would take a stand on the dilapidated condition of the Jagatjit Palace housing Sainik school, Kapurthala and asked the school authorities to shift the school to adjoining more than 100 acres of land lying vacant in Sainik school.

Sidhu said the state government would allot 100 acres of land and bear the cost of construction of new school building. He said the government had already announced Rs 10 crore for this purpose.

The minister said the Jagatjit Palace and the Darbar Hall would become a place of attraction for the tourists and Kapurthala would become a sought after tourist destination.

Sidhu said the Tourism department has enough funds amounting to Rs 590 crore to promote tourism industry in the state. 

He disclosed that Harike would be developed soon and tented accommodation would be provided to the tourists to enjoy the site of migratory birds.

Meanwhile, during his visit to Amritsar on Sunday, Sidhu announced that holy city will be made the tourism capital of northern India.

Sidhu said that all measures were being taken to unlock the potential of Amritsar and give visitors a programmed visit to this place and tourism spots of surrounding areas.

He visited various tourist destinations in Amritsar along with a team of consultants, media persons and officials from the Tourism department.

"We will make Amritsar the tourism capital of north India. This is not a hollow boast but a dream that will be fulfilled in totality," he said.

Giving details on the plans to boost tourism in Amritsar, Sidhu said, "Town Hall will be a complete food street on the lines of Lahore. As Amritsar is known for its food, we will have 146 delicacies in that food street."

The Punjab Tourism minister announced that an Aero city would be developed in Amritsar.

"We will be developing an Aero city. It can be in the heart of city or close to the airport with around 20 hotels. Apart from the top end hotels, we also intend to have hotels which are affordable for all and not very expensive," he said.