Phase-II of the Rs 11,000 crore Urban Environment Improvement Programme (UEIP) was kickstarted on Saturday in Chandigarh by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh with a virtual foundation-laying ceremony.
As per a statement, the CM also announced a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme of pending VAT assessment to promote economic activity in urban areas.
While launching the Rs 700 crore Phase-II project across all 167 urban local body towns of the state, the CM also said that the Department of Excise and Taxation would soon notify the scheme that had been initiated after businesses expressed concern that issues related to their VAT assessments and grievances were not been redressed speedily.
Along with this, he also asked Industries and Taxation Departments to work out a more user-friendly system to ensure that businesses, industry, and traders do not have to go from one office to another, considering cities were also centers of economic activity, with a focus on trade and industry.
The CM further urged cities to segregate domestic solid waste, underlined the need to ensure the cleanliness of towns, and appreciated Nawanshahr for its consistently good performance in the Cleanliness Surveys of the Government of India.
"The UEIP schemes, of which Rs 3000 crore worth had been completed in the first Phase, will help the state make a significant improvement in the infrastructure of the cities and lives of its urban people. It will enable the development of state-of-art urban infrastructure and efficient service delivery systems," the statement quoted Capt Singh.
"Despite the acute financial crunch, the state government has succeeded in securing finances for these projects, connected digitally to over 45000 people at 940 locations," he added.
Canal-based water supply in the four big cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala, with work in Jalandhar will be launched on Saturday and the foundation stone for Patiala will be laid on Sunday.
For sewage facilities, works had been completed in 51 out of 116 towns, and the rest will be completed next year.
( With inputs from ANI )
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