Mohar Jamsher (Indo-Pak border): Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday promised a special 'border area package' for Punjab and announced that Rs 800 crore will be spent on rural link roads in the state.

While visiting the international headquarters of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at Qadian town in this district, he said that the central government is strengthening the infrastructure in border areas in the country and six Punjab border districts Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur and Fazilka have been brought under the scheme in which 1,800 kilometer roads would be constructed.

He said that these border districts have been selected under the Prime Minister Village Road scheme and the Centre would provide more funds to provide drinking water and toilets.

The Union Minister, who is on two-day visit to Punjab, after meeting the panchayat members in village Mouzam, noted that residents of border areas were living in difficult conditions.

Ramesh said that he had visited these villages on the direction of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was worried about the lack of development in border area.

The Minister said that people of this area have suffered the most as they have been uprooted every time there was a war with the neigbouring country and development in these villages could not get the required focus due to their inaccessibility.

Earlier, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal sought a special development package from Ramesh to cover areas of rural roads, village sanitation, ponds desiltation, rural water supply, EWS housing and disposal of sullage in villages that was imperative to bring them on par with others.

(Agencies)

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