Friday, July 6, 2012

Look within before blaming Centre, Ramesh advises Punjab

Union minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh Friday asked Punjab government to "look within" before blaming the Centre for discrimination, and said that the state government could use only Rs. 29 crore on rural sanitation against allocation of Rs. 151 crore in the last ten


"In the last ten years, a sum of Rs. 151 crore was allocated to Punjab for rural sanitation. But Punjab could take only Rs. 29 crore. (Therefore) before you blame somebody else, look within," Ramesh said talking to reporters here today when he was asked to respond on the state government's charge of discrimination by the Centre.

Asserting there was no discrimination against Punjab, he said, the Centre always stressed upon providing funds to the states which are in need of development projects.

Ramesh said that he was asked by Prime Minister Manhohan Singh to make provision for rural road projects in the border districts of Punjab.

"I talked to the PM a few days ago and he told me to propose something for the border districts of Punjab, including Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Fazilka, Ferozepur and Pathankot, under the Prime Minister Grameen Sadak Yojna.

We will come up with a project in the next 3-4 months for these districts," he said.

He further said that on the request of Punjab government, a team of Planning Commission visited the waterlogged areas of the state to find a solution to this problem as about five lakh acres of land was found to be water-logged.

"We have even asked Punjab government to come up with a proposal for a 1700 km rural road project," he said.

A sum of Rs. 7.5 crore has been sanctioned for setting up a bridge in a village in Fazilka under PM Grameen Sadak Yojna.

"Punjab government has no reason to complain about discrimination by the Centre," he asserted.

SAD-BJP led Punjab government on many occasions had accused the Centre of meting out "step-motherly" treatment to the state on the issue of creation of storage space, funds allocation, etc.

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