Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Punjab wants air, four-lane road link to Bidar

Taking up the cause of lakhs of inconvenienced Sikh pilgrims who visit Bidar every year in Karnataka where the first Sikh Guru Nanak Dev had dug out a water source, the Punjab Government has asked the Centre for air and four-lane road connectivity to the historic Sikh pilgrimage.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has impressed upon the Centre to allow domestic flights from the Indian Air Force (IAF) station at Bidar and four-lane the 200-km stretch of the road leading from Takht Sachkhand Hazur Sahib in Nanded to Bidar.

In a demi-official letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Badal has sought permission to allow domestic flights at IAF station in Bidar for the convenience of lakhs of devotees.

“I recently visited Gurdwara Sri Nanak Jheera in Bidar to pay obeisance on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Nanak Jheera Pargat Samagam, where the Sikh sangat demanded air connectivity with Bidar for quick and comfortable journey,” Badal wrote. He requested Singh to immediately take up the matter with Union Ministry of Defence for allowing domestic flights at Bidar IAF station.

In a separate letter to Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways CP Joshi, Badal has demanded that National Highway-7 should be connected with National Highway-9 with a four-lane road from Nanded to Bidar via Degloor.

Badal apprised Joshi about the dilapidated condition of the road connecting the two historical and most frequented Sikh shrines which caused great hardship to the pilgrims who visit these places of religious importance in large numbers.

Referring to the various national highway projects in Punjab, the CM has drawn attention of the Union Government towards the snags in the works undertaken for upgradation of the Kharar-Kurali section of National Highway-21; four-laning of 20-km stretch of NH-1 between Jalandhar and Dhilwan; four to six-laning of NH-95 from Kharar to Ludhiana; and slow progress of six-laning of NH-1 from Shambhu border to Jalandhar.

Badal has urged Joshi to review the decision to upgrade 11-km stretch of Kharar-Kurali NH-21 on Bulid Operate Transfer (BOT) basis, which, he said, was not viable. “Since two toll plazas already exist between Kharar and Ropar, another toll plaza between Kharar and Kurali cannot be established as per the guidelines if this section is upgraded on BOT basis,” CM pointed out, while calling for four-laning of the Kharar-Kurali NH-21 on government expenses. Due to its narrowness, this highway had ecome a “killer highway”, he pointed out.

The CM also sought four-laning of the 20-km section of NH-1 between Jalandhar and Dhilwan, which has become a bottleneck in the six-lane NH-1 from Panipat to Jalandhar.

Reminding the Centre about the Prime Minister’s announcement in 2006 to six-lane Chandigarh-Ludhiana NH-95, Badal told Joshi that work on the project has not yet started.


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