Amarinder seeks Gadkari's intervention for speedy clearance of road projects in historic towns
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Sunday sought the personal intervention of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari for expeditious clearance of road projects in the historic towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Batala and Dera Baba Nanak.
The towns are associated with the life of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, whose 550th "Parkash Purb" (birth anniversary) is being observed this month.
In a letter to the Union minister for Road Transport and Highways, the chief minister said he was grateful to the government of India for acceding to the request of the Punjab government related to the projects and announcements in this regard, especially the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate smooth and easy access to Kartarpur Sahib.
In view of the historic importance of these religious towns, Amarinder Singh sought an additional allocation of Rs 150 crore under the Central Road Fund (CRF) for the upgradation of the road network in Sultanpur Lodhi, Batala, Dera Baba Nanak and Gurdaspur.
The chief minister also asked for four-laning of a 21.3 km stretch of the Jalandhar-Kapurthala-Sultanpur Lodhi NH-703-A, which is currently two-laned, at an estimated cost of Rs 260 crore. The highway connects the holy town of Sultanpur Lodhi with the rest of Punjab and beyond.
"Certain stretches of this Highway are already four-laned...but due to the expected increase in pilgrim traffic during the upcoming celebrations, it was imperative to four-lane the stretch of 21.3 km," he wrote in the letter Sunday.
The chief minister also impressed upon Gadkari to immediately declare the Tarn Taran-Goindwal Sahib-Kapurthala Road a national highway as it is related to the life of Guru Nanak Dev and connects Sultanpur Lodhi with Amritsar.
He apprised the Union minister of the central government's grant of in-principle approval for declaration of the road as a national highway.
Singh further wrote that in view of the announcement to open the Kartarpur Corridor, Dera Baba Nanak should be connected with Batala by a four-laned highway to enable devotees visit Kartarpur Sahib on a shorter route.
Notably, Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district is of great religious significance as Guru Nanak Dev spent 14 years of his life here and attained enlightenment, before embarking on his missionary travels.