Badal demands development package for border areas

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Chandigarh, Mar 28 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called on Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and sought a Comprehensive Development Package for border areas in Punjab.

The Chief Minster also asked Mr Patil to facilitate early interaction between the Governments of India and Pakistan on the proposed free corridor from Indian border to the historic and holy town of Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, which is just across the Ravi river in the Dera Baba Nanak Sector of Gurdaspur district.

The corridor would allow devotes from India to visit the holy place connected with the life of Guru Nanak Devji without the mandatory visa. The Pak authorities.

had reportedly given their consent in principle to the proposal.

Disclosing this, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Harcharan Bains described the Union Home Minister's response as "extremely positive and helpful" and said that Mr Badal also raised the issue of development of 11 border towns, including a cantonment, in tune with modern town planning.

Mr Badal sought funds under central schemes for improving water supply and sewerage system in these areas and said that the state had not got its due share in the on going schemes.

Mr Badal also told the Union Home Minister that the Border Roads Development Authority needed to pay greater attention to the plight of infrastructure in the Punjab along the belt neighboring Pakistan.

The Chief Minister also sought compensation of Rs 5,000 per acre per annum for farmers whose lands fall beyond the border fence as they had been facing major handicaps in the interest of the defence of the country.

Mr Badal asked Mr Patil's to use his good offices to ensure early clearances for the proposed highway to link the holy City of Hemkunt Sahib with Punjab.

UNI PS JS2031

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