Sounding the bugle in Punjab’s poll season, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday will lay the foundation stone of development projects of Rs 42,750 crore comprising two mega road corridors to enhance accessibility to prominent religious centres and three health institutions in this town bordering Pakistan.
One of the road corridors will halve the travel time from 12 hours from the national capital to religious sites in Punjab, comprising Amritsar and Sultanpur Lodhi, and to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Jammu and Kashmir’s Katra.
Just hours ahead of his visit, Modi tweeted, “I look forward to being among my sisters and brothers of Punjab today. At a programme in Ferozepur, the foundation stone of development works worth Rs 42,750 crore would be laid, which will improve the quality of life for the people.”
After paying obeisance to freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at the memorial in Hussainiwala, about 260 km from the state capital Chandigarh, the Prime Minister will lay the stones and address a public meeting.
Modi last visited Hussainiwala in March 2015, where the last rites of the three freedom fighters were held after they were hanged in Lahore on March 23, 1931.
The Prime Minister will be accompanied by his Cabinet colleagues — Nitin Gadkari and Hardeep Singh Puri, besides Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit, Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Charanjit Channi, Manohar Lal and Jairam Thakur, respectively, and Lieutenant Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha.
As per the official programme, Prime Minister Modi around 1 p.m. will lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects that include the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway; four laning of Amritsar-Una road section; Mukerian-Talwara new broad gauge railway line; PGI Satellite Centre in Ferozepur and two medical colleges in Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur.
The consistent endeavour of the Prime Minister to improve connectivity all across the country has led to multiple national highway development initiatives being taken up in Punjab, said an official statement.
It has resulted in more than doubling the total length of national highways in the state from about 1,700 km in 2014 to more than 4,100 km in 2021.
In continuation of such efforts the foundation stone of two major road corridors will be laid in Punjab. This will also be a step towards fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision to enhance accessibility to major religious centres.
The 669 km-long Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway will be developed at a total cost of about Rs 39,500 crore. It will halve travel time from Delhi to Amritsar and Delhi to Katra.
The Greenfield Expressway will connect key Sikh religious sites at Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, Tarn Taran and the holy Hindu shrine of Vaishno Devi in Katra.
The expressway will also connect key economic centres like Ambala Chandigarh, Mohali, Sangrur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Kathua and Samba in the states and UTs of Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
The four-laning of Amritsar-Una section will be done at the cost of around Rs 1,700 crore. The 77-km long section is part of the larger Amritsar to Bhota corridor spanning across the longitudinal expanse of northern Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, connecting four major national highways, namely Amritsar-Bhatinda-Jamnagar Economic Corridor, Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, North-South Corridor and Kangra-Hamirpur-Bilaspur-Shimla Corridor.
It will help in improving the connectivity of religious sites at Ghoman, Shri Hargobindpur and Pulpukta Town (home to the famous Gurdwara Pulpukta Sahib).
The Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of a new broad gauge railway line between Mukerian and Talwara of around 27 Km in length, to be built at a cost of over Rs 410 crore.
The railway line will be an extension of Nangal Dam-Daulatpur Chowk railway section. It will provide an all-weathered means of transportation in the area.
This project also holds strategic importance as it will serve as an alternative route to Jammu and Kashmir, joining the existing Jalandhar-Jammu Railway line at Mukerian.
The project will prove especially beneficial for the people of Hoshiarpur in Punjab and Una in Himachal Pradesh. It will give a boost to tourism in the region, and provide ease of connectivity to hill stations as well as to places of religious importance.
Modi will also lay the foundation stone of new medical infrastructure in three towns of Punjab. The 100 bedded PGI Satellite Centre in Ferozepur, will be built at a cost of more than Rs 490 crore.
Two medical colleges at Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur will be developed at a cost of around Rs 325 crore each and with a capacity of about 100 seats.