Five yrs on, Punjab govt fails to acquire land for ICAR’s horticulture institute
AMRITSAR: Five years since it was announced, the Post Graduate Institute of Horticulture Research and Education (PGIHRE) in Amritsar is still a distant dream as the state government has failed to acquire land for the main campus.
The site-selection committee of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), an agency responsible for establishing the institute, had given the approval for a chunk of land at Chhiddan village on the Amritsar-Attari road. However, the Punjab government has not purchased the land till date. On behalf of the state government, the Amritsar district administration had deputed the Ajnala SDM to acquire the land.
Authorities are still negotiating the rate with owner of around 30 acres of selected land. “The owner demands around ₹90 lakh per acre, which is too high. So, we have sent a report of our negotiations with the owner to higher authorities for taking a decision,” Ajnala SDM Deepak Bhatia said.
Meanwhile, land owner Pargat Singh said, “Officials of state and Central governments are making rounds for the last two-three years. I don’t want to sell my land as a portion has already been purchased by the BSF for residential
PROJECT WAS BEING SEEN AS CRUCIAL FOR CROP DIVERSIFICATION AND UPLIFTING STATUS OF PUNJAB’S BORDER FARMERS
flats. I am a farmer and want to keep the rest for myself.”
“I have suggested an alternative land which is situated at Gharinda village and land owners are interested. The government will get land there at negotiable price,” he said.
Amritsar Vikas Manch, an NGO, said, “Since 2015, the year in which the institute was cleared by the then central finance minister late Arun Jaitley, the efficiency of the state government is not satisfactory, as the Punjab government could not provide land to ICAR.”