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Punjab CM Launches Phase 2 Of Urban Environment Improvement Programme

TPE Correspondent

New Delhi October 24th

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday virtually launched phase two of the Rs 11,000 crore Urban Environment Improvement Programme (UEIP). Singh expressed confidence that the UEIP scheme, of which Rs 3,000 crore worth had been completed in the first phase, would help the state make significant improvement in the infrastructure of the cities and lives of people.

The programme would enable the development of state-of-the-art urban infrastructure and efficient service delivery systems to the urban population of Punjab, thus making urbanisation impactful, he said in a statement here. Connected digitally to over 45,000 people at 940 locations, the chief minister pointed out that the state government had succeeded in securing finances for these projects, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the acute financial crunch.

Among the key projects, the CM cited canal-based water supply in the four big cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala, with work in Jalandhar being launched on Saturday and the foundation stone for Patiala to be laid on Sunday. The government was also close to allocating work for cleaning of ‘Budha Nullah’ in Ludhiana, with the operations expected to commence in a month’s time, he added.

Noting that around 40 per cent of Punjab’s population lives in cities, which are generally regarded as engines of growth, Singh said the projects were in line with the various steps being taken by his government for the welfare of people residing in the cities. Pointing out that water supply and sewerage works are already in progress, at a total cost of Rs 4,000 crore, in many towns of Punjab, he said that of 103 towns, water supply works had been completed in 49 towns and works in remaining towns would be completed by next year.

For sewerage facilities, of 116 towns, works had been completed in 51 towns, and would be completed next year in the remaining. The chief minister also announced a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for pending VAT (value added tax) assessments to promote economic activity in urban areas.

He said the department of excise and taxation would soon notify the scheme, which his government had decided to initiate in view of the concern of businesses that issues related to their VAT assessments and grievances had not been redressed speedily.

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