As soon as one hears the word ‘Punjab’, the valour and courage of the people comes to mind. However, Punjab is more than just that. It is also known for its agriculture, cuisine, music and culture among many other such things. But, as India is going through an election phase, we wanted to highlight the other part of the state – the development story of Punjab. We have listed some of the achievements of Punjab in the last 5 years.
Highways and Railways
The length of national highways has more than doubled in the last 5 years in Punjab. Till 2014, Punjab had 1,739 km long national highways. This has now increased to 3,778 km in 2018. About 21 big projects at the cost of Rs. 10,500 crore have been completed in the state of Punjab.
Under the current government, the investment on the rail network in Punjab has increased by more than three times if the tenure of UPA II (2009-14) and NDA II (2014-19) are compared. Average budget outlay during UPA II was Rs. 225 crore whereas it has increased to Rs. 732 crore under NDA II. More than 17 new trains have been introduced and about 5 new line projects are under progress. Under Digital India, Wi-Fi facility has been provided at Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana railway stations.
It is at the Kapurthala rail coach factory in Punjab where coaches of Tejas train have been produced.
Education and Health
Indian Institute of Management at Amritsar has been established and operationalised by the Modi government.
Source: IIM Amritsar Official Website
AIIMS in Punjab – The current government is fast expanding the network of tertiary care institutes like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) across India. About 14 AIIMS are being built across the country including one at Bathinda in Punjab. The central govt has reportedly given its nod to commence AIIMS Bathinda’s first batch from 2019. Batch will start at Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot and transfer to AIIMS Bathinda building once it is completed.
Science and Innovation
India’s first Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) is being set up by the central government in Punjab. The government of India has signed an Institutional agreement with the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology TISC at Patent Information Centre, Punjab, under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) TISC program. This will help in making the robust intellectual property rights system in India. “Over 500 TISCs operate worldwide and establishing TISC in India will give the host institutions access to the global network”, says PIB report.
Mega Food Parks
Ludhiana Mega Food Park (MFP) – Towards the aim of doubling the farmer’s income, streamlining of the food processing sector is an important step. In this background, many MFPs are coming up across the country. One such MFP is being built at Ludhiana in Punjab under the MFP scheme of the central government. As per a report of The Tribune in February 2019 which quoted government officials, 95% of the work at MFP has been completed.
After MFP at Ludhiana, Punjab will have another MFP at Phagwara. The union food processing minister Harsimarat Kaur Badal has already laid the foundation stone of Sukhjit Mega Food Park Phagwara in Kapurthala district.
Source: Sukhjit MFP Website
Shahpur kandi Dam Project – The cabinet led by PM Modi took a decision on December 6, 2018, to construct the Shahpur kandi Dam Project, Punjab on the Ravi River. The project would help in minimising some of the water of the Ravi River which is going waste downstream to Pakistan at present. On completion of the project, an irrigation potential of 5,000 hectares in Punjab would be created.
Kartarpur Corridor – Fulfilling the long-standing demand of devotees, union cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown a green flag to the construction of Kartarpur corridor. The construction of this corridor was first proposed when former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a bus ride to Lahore in 1999. Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur (Pakistan) is the holy shrine and the place where Guru Nanak Devji, the first guru in Sikh traditions, spent final years of his life.
Justice to Victims of Sikh-riots 1984
Across the country, especially on the streets of Delhi, an organised pogrom of the Sikh community was unleashed by Congress leaders and its workers in 1984. Justice was not served in these cases and they were closed. It is only in 2015 that PM Modi constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into these cases. According to the India Today report, “This is the first time a convict has been handed the death sentence in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots after the cases were reopened by the SIT in 2015.”
Showcasing Punjab to World
The sixth edition of the well-known international conference ‘Heart of Asia’ was organised in the city of Amritsar and not in the national capital. Surprised?
Elizabeth Roche in an article in Live Mint writes, “The choice of Amritsar is in line with the Narendra Modi government’s policy to move international conferences out of the national capital and showcase other cities in India.”
In the above image, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani visited the Golden Temple when Heart of Asia conference was being organised in Amritsar.