CHANDIGARH: In a bid to ensure holistic development of villages under phase-2 of Smart Village Campaign (SVC), the Punjab Government has allotted funds to the tune of Rs. 3445.14 crore at the disposal of 13,265 panchayats in all the 22 districts across the state. Out of this, Rs. 1603.83 crore have been released under the SVC while Rs. 1539.91 crore have been allocated under 14th Finance Commission with allocation of Rs.301.4 crore made under the 15th Finance Commission.
Pertinently, 48,910 development works are being taken up during the second phase of SVC at a total cost of Rs. 2775 crore for up-gradation of the existing infrastructure to ensure overall development in the rural areas with a thrust on ‘inclusive’ growth.
Giving the district-wise allocation of funds, an official spokesperson of the Punjab government said that in Hoshiarpur district having highest number of panchayats (1405) funds to the tune of Rs. 246.01 crore have been provided, followed by Gurdaspur district with 1279 panchayats where a sum of Rs. 435.88 crore has been released. Likewise, in Patiala with 1038 panchayats funds to the extent of Rs. 150.39 crore have been made available, in Ludhiana with 941 panchayats Rs. 231.58 crore have been allocated, in Jalandhar having next highest number of panchayats at 898 funds to the tune of Rs. 172.94 have been released while in Amritsar Rs. 191.24 crore have been placed at the disposal of 860 panchayats.
Similarly, Rs. 134.8 crore have been provided for the 838 panchayats falling in the Ferozepur district while the basic infrastructure in 611 panchayats of Rupnagar would be spruced up at a cost of Rs. 100.71 crore. Besides, another Rs.204.36 crore has been placed at the disposal of 600 panchayats in Sangrur district for execution of various development works, in Tarn Taran having 573 panchayats funds to the extent of Rs. 200.85 crore have been released, in 546 panchayats of Kapurthala Rs. 95.66 crore have been allocated for development projects, in SBS Nagar with 466 panchayats Rs. 126.88 crore, in Fazilka having 434 panchayats Rs. 138.86 crore, in Pathankot having 421 panchayats Rs. 89.55 crore, in Fatehgarh Sahib comprising 428 panchayats Rs. 74.15 crore, in S.A.S. Nagar comprising 341 panchayats funds worth Rs. 120.63 crore, in Moga having 340 panchayats Rs. 140.27 crore and in Bathinda with 314 panchayats 182.86 crore worth funds have been provided.
In Sri Muktsar Sahib district Rs. 131.65 crore have been allotted for development works in 269 panchayats, in Mansa Rs. 112.3 crore have been released for different development projects/schemes in 245 panchayats, in Faridkot Rs. 95.56 crore have been made available for 243 panchayats while 175 panchayats within the jurisdiction of Barnala district would carry out development works at a cost of Rs. 68.01 crore, the spokesperson added.
Notably, the second phase of SVC was launched by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on October 17, 2020 after successful implementation of its first phase, which was launched in 2019 for the execution of 19,132 works at a cost of Rs. 835 crore. The first phase of SVC included works like; Renovation of Ponds, Street lights, Parks, Gymnasiums, Community Halls, Drinking Water Supply, Model Anganwadi Centres, Smart Schools and Solid Waste Management thus making villages in Punjab self sustaining by providing enabling environment.