The assurance given by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to a group of industrialists that the border districts of Amritsar region would be given a special treatment has been widely welcomed here.
It was pointed out to the Prime Minister that the region had undergone a difficult period during the two wars the nation had to fight with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 and the decade- long militancy.
The assurance was given by Dr Manmohan Singh when a group of industrialists of the Shawl club called on him at his residence recently. Shawl Club General Secretary, Piara Lal Seth, said in a press statement here that suggestion was made that the border region in Punjab should be given special treatment, similar to what is being extended to Jammu and Kashmir.
The delegation, led by senior congress leader Om Prakash Soni, presented the needs of the region to the Prime Minister. The suggestions included connectivity of Amritsar-Makhu - Mumbai rail line, the upgradation of Amritsar airport with more domestic and international connectivity, and the enhancement of the capacity of the Northern Railway Locomotive workshop.
Piara Seth disclosed that funds amounting to Rs. 147 crores have been set aside for laying of railway track from Patti to Makhu and Dr Manmohan Singh assured the delegation that the project would be initiated on a priority basis.
Seth pointed out that Amritsar was known for its trade and industrial centre even before partition of India in 1947. He said that there was tremendous potential for growth if the Finance Ministry provided a special package to instill new impetus for growth.
"By launching various schemes for promoting tourist potential, allowing more domestic and International flights, providing more infrastructure for multi-pronged growth of the city and encouraging more opportunities for growth of trade and industry, the city can survive the challenges, " said Seth. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)