Punjab plans big for rural development

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday fine-tuned an ambitious Rs 29,781.55 crore plan for integrated development of villages across state within the next five years.

Badal and rural development and panchayats minister, Surjit Singh Rakhra reviewed the programme to ensure physical and economic infrastructure that will deliver quality services in 12,673 villages. The Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party government was committed to improve the quality of life in rural areas to check growing migration of people to urban areas, Badal said.

Focus is on development for the benefit of deprived population, including marginal farmers, landless labourers and Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, he said.

The plan aims to provide concrete streets, low cost sewerage system and renovation of village ponds, besides strengthening the existing assets of panchayats, he said.

At least 62.51 per cent of Punjab’s population is living in villages. An integrated development of each village will be ensured at one go, he added.

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