PAA Government eyes prime land in Bathinda to generate resources

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The cash-strapped Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab has expressed interest in advancing the old Congress regime’s plan to dispose of public properties, including residential accommodation for senior officials. of Bathinda district, to raise funds.

But with the latest move comes a change where the prime land spanning 35 acres in the Civil Station area is proposed to have high-rise commercial and residential areas.

The previous Congress government led by Captain Amarinder Singh first issued a proposal in January 2020, to use the area around the Bathinda Secretariat to develop a commercial town centre. But the government of the time did not push the project.

Official sources, associated with the project, said that the district administration has been instructed by the state authorities to maintain the project as a matter of priority and that officials from the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA), l executing agency, are working to accelerate substantive work.

Bathinda Deputy Commissioner Showkat Ahmad Parry said there are now plans to use the available public land for residential and commercial purposes and a detailed report will be sent to state authorities next week.

“As most of the government buildings around the secretariat would be razed to the ground, it was decided that all government officials at the district level would be moved to the thermal colony at the now defunct Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Power Station (GNDTP) in Bathinda . The residences of the colony being old and dilapidated, they would be renovated. Once approved by the cabinet, the work to release the civilian resort and transfer to the spa colony would be completed within a year,” he said.

Official sources said more than 40 government buildings, including the residences of DC, SSP, women’s police station and other residential areas, would be freed up for the development project.

The district administration complex, the rest home for the disabled and a school at the police lines are the key landmarks that will not be dismantled.

PUDA estimated to pay 93 crores to the Public Works Department (PWD) for the renovation of over 900 residences at Thermal Colony and the construction of two new camp offices for DC and SSP.

“The area around the civilian station is a lucrative asset to generate enough funds. PUDA plans to engage a consortium of urban planners to develop the area for high-rise commercial and residential projects at competitive prices,” said another official familiar with the project.

Alternative to the drug park

Official sources said an internal exercise is underway to find scope beyond the proposed “bulk pharma park” on the 1,300-acre plot of the now-defunct site of the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Power Plant (GNDTP ) in Bathinda.

A senior government official said there has been no progress in the drug park, possibilities are being explored for an alternative industrial project.

DC Parry said much of the land is proposed for industrial use only and an assessment is underway for another viable project.

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