Patiala: The Punjab Chief Minister has now given another gift to Patialvis – India’s best and ultra-modern Rs 250-crore air-conditioned bus stand.
In an apparent bid to win over Patiala residents before the forthcoming Parliament polls, Badal has already announced sops worth over Rs 250 crore for Patiala, including a Rs 90-crore sewage disposal plan, revamping of the power supply system and free one-bulb power connections for poor SC families.
Interesingly, the Chief Minister has been camping in the city for two days and has plans to hold dozens of sangat darshan programmes in different wards of Patiala till September 21. His prolonged presence in Amarinder’s home-turf and his “generous” announcements have upset the top Congress leadership, which was seemingly upbeat after the party’s “successful” September 1 rally in Badal’s home constituency Lambi.
Amarinder loyalists felt that Badal was trying to take “undue advantage” of Amarinder’s absence by descending on Patiala and showering grants and projects. Amarinder, in his statement from London, has already alleged that Badal was “trying to bribe” Patialvis.
After holding a number of his sangat darshan programmes, Parkash Singh Badal said the Rs 250-crore ultra-modern air-conditioned bus stand would be set up on the Patiala-Chandigarh road and under the Public, Private, Partnership (PPP) scheme.
The company setting up the facility would be generating annual revenue worth Rs 2 crore for PRTC, on whose land the bus stand would be constructed. “It will be a self-financing facility, equipped with modern amenities. The revenue generated will be spent on improvement of state bus services,” said Badal, who was accompanied by senior Akali leaders Prem Singh Chandumajra and Surjit Singh Rakhra.
The Chief Minister said all development work, chalked out by the Municipal Councillors, would be implemented, irrespective of their budgets. “The development works in wards will take off within a period 15 days and notice boards will be put up, stating the estimated cost and time-frame of respective projects,” he added.
Badal has already exhibited his intention to extend the term of Patiala MC commissioner-cum-divisional commissioner S.K. Ahluwalia in view of the proposed projects. A three-member high-powered committee to monitor the work has been set up.
Taking a dig at his arch-rival Amarinder Singh, Badal said the previous Congress regime followed the, “aish-and-cash” (comfort-and-money) policy. “Amarinder now says I am bribing residents of Patiala. Has he ever had time to come and meet people here during his five-year rule? I feel duty-bound to serve people of Patiala. If Amarinder is criticising it, then I think he has gone mentally sick. Can he tell what he has done for Patiala? He has been enjoying life at Dochi, Dubai and Shimla,” said Badal.