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Majithia, Sidhu spar over Pulwama remark 

Chandigarh: A spat between Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Akali MLA Bikram Majithia marked the beginning of the Question Hour today. As Sidhu got up to answer a question of MLA Gurkirat Kolti, Akali MLAs started raising slogans against him on his recent statement on Pakistan after Pulwama suicide attack. Sidhu hit back at Majithia over drug allegations. Speaker Rana KP Singh managed to control the tempers. He later prodded Minister Charanjit Channi to give a better reply to Opposition’s “genuine” query on the functioning of the ITIs. The Congress faced some embarrassing moments when MLA Rana Gurjit Singh confronted Irrigation Minister Sukhibinder Singh Sarkaria on providing just 7.5 per cent water to Doaba region, which has 16 per cent of state’s land.  

Major push for rural areas  with allotment of  Rs 4,109 cr

Chandigarh: Rural areas got a major push in the Budget with an allotment of Rs 4,109 crore. The Department of Rural Development and Panchayats witnessed an increase of 36.08 per cent than the previous year’s allocations.  The increased money will be spent for the improvement of quality of life and economic well-being of the rural population. To reduce the economic gap between villages and cities, an outlay of Rs 2,600 crore has been proposed under the ‘smart village campaign’. The funds will be spent on creating new facilities and strengthening rural infrastructure. Apart from that, the Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme got a booster with an allocation of Rs 500 crore, with an increase of Rs 260 crore (92.31 per cent) than the previous year. TNS

Canal water supply to four major cities by 2022

Chandigarh: Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala will have canal-based water supply by 2022, said Finance Minister Manpreet Badal. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank project will cost Rs 4,800 crore. The state government has earmarked Rs 200 crore during the current year for initial mobilisation. The project aims at providing 24X7 surface water supply as part of a plan to shift these cities from tubewell to canal water for quality drinking water. 

Manpreet said the state had earmarked Rs 70 crore for developing charger infrastructure for e-vehicles in Amritsar. The Centre has allocated Rs 168.87 crore under Cities Investment to Innovate Integrate and Sustain challenge. A provision of Rs 700 crore has been made for upgrading urban infrastructure in 16 cities having a population of more than one lakh. The government also earmarked Rs 234 crore to provide one lakh houses to the poor.

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