CHANDIGARH: To commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has sought an assistance of Rs 2,145.31 crore from the Centre for undertaking various infrastructural projects in towns and cities associated with the first Sikh Guru.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chief minister, who is also the chairman of the state-level organising committee, has suggested that a national organising committee, under the chairmanship of the prime minister, be constituted to oversee the celebrations of this historic event across the country.
The chief minister, who will be personally meeting the prime minister soon to discuss this issue, said that while a year-long calendar of events was being prepared for organising commemorative events across various states, the primary focus of the celebrations will be at places like Sultanpur Lodhi (Kapurthala), Dera Baba Nanak and Batala (Gurdaspur) that have had a deep association with the first Sikh Guru.
Singh said that it would be in fitness of things that, as a part of these celebrations, the towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Dera Baba Nanak, Batala and Guruharsahai, where some of the relics of Guru Nanak Dev are kept, be taken up for special infrastructural development as towns of religious and historical importance.
He urged the prime minister that besides this, the Centre should also dedicate certain special projects in Punjab to commemorate the historic event.
In a detailed memorandum, submitted along with his letter, the chief minister, as per an official release here today, has sought Rs 875.03 crore for upgradation of infrastructure in the historic towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Dera Baba Nanak, Guruharsahai and Batala.
The proposed works listed primarily pertain to upgradation of civic roads and bridges infrastructures in these towns.
The chief minister has suggested that the funds could be released from the Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs and Road Transport and Highways.
The chief minister has also sought a special grant of Rs 350 crore from the Ministry of Human Resource Development for setting up the Sri Guru Nanak Dev National Institute of Inter-Faith Studies at Amritsar.
The institute, for which the land will be made available by the state government, proposes to focus on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev, besides providing a forum for the study and research on the first Sikh Guru and on comparative religions.
The chief minister has sought assistance of Rs 500 crore for setting up of a 500-bed Sri Guru Nanak Dev Medical College and Super-Specialty Hospital in Gurdaspur.
Pointing out that the border districts of Gurdaspur and Pathankot had inadequate health are facilities, the chief minister said the proposed state-of-the-art super-specialty hospital will have all the major super-specialisations.
A special grant of Rs 200 crore has also been sought through the Ministry of Culture for setting up a Heritage Village -- Pind Babe Nanak Da, which will depict the life and times of Guru Nanak.