Badal gets PM's nod for freight corridor

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Chandigarh, Dec 27 (UNI) The Central government has agreed in principle to link Mumbai with Amritsar through a freight corridor to boost domestic and international freight activity.

The Centre's decision to this effect was conveyed to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal when he called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at New Delhi late last evening. A formal clearance is expected in any time in January.

Stating this today Media Advisor to Chief Minster Harcharan Bains said that the Chief Minister impressed upon Dr Manmohan Singh to strengthen the national trade artery in the wake of prospects of increased international trade through the Attari border. The Centre had earlier proposed a freight corridor upto Ludhiana but Punjab had been persistently pleading to take it to the Indo-Pak border.

The Media Advisor also said that in another major development, the Prime Minister assured Mr Badal that Punjab's proposals for setting up of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) would also be considered on a priority basis.

The Centre had also agreed to set up a Manufacturing Investment Region (MIR) in Punjab to brighten the prospects of trade and commerce in the state, he said.

The state government had already submitted a comprehensive proposal for MIR at Ludhiana for textile and auto industry, Jalandhar for leather and sports goods, Batala for foundry, Mandi Gobindgarh for iron works and Goraya for agricultural implements.

The Prime Minister also conceded the state government's proposal to upgrade the Amritsar Medical College to provide best health care facilities to the people of Punjab and adjoining states of Himachal Pradesh and J and K.

Dr Manmohan Singh also assured Mr Badal that keeping in view the historical importance of the mega event of 'Guruta Gaddi Diwas' tercentenary celebrations, the Central government would accord the highest priority to complete the prestigious Guru Gobind Singh Marg.

The Chief Minister also urged Dr Manmohan Singh to direct the Ministry of Water Resources to waive of one to one condition under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) and Command Area Development Water Network Programme (CADWNP).

Responding to the demands put forth by Mr Badal, the Prime Minister assured the Chief Minister that he would personally review the position of the different projects and proposals sent by the State Government to the Centre for approval with the concerned Ministries.

UNI

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