Punjab govt okays land allotment for centrally-funded horticulture institute

July 14, 2017 03:27 PM

Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH : The Captain Amarinder led Punjab Government gave in-principle approval for allotment of about 10 acres of land in village Dhaulkalan in District Amritsar to set up the centrally-sponsored Post Graduate Institute of Excellence in Horticulture.

This was disclosed by an official spokesperson after a meeting of the Horticulture Department, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, to identify and finalise the land for the proposed institute, which had been announced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The land that has been identified is ideally located in an area between Guru Nanak Dev University and the Ram Tirath, the Horticulture Department informed the meeting.

An official spokesperson disclosed after the meeting that another 100 acres of land had earlier, in December 2015, been identified in Attari for horticulture research. The additional land now identified for allotment would be used to develop the educational institute.

To be established by the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) in collaboration with the Punjab government, the institute will help boost crop diversification - a key agenda of Captain Amarinder, who has been pro-actively promoting this as a means for bolstering farmer income and permanently resolving the state’s agrarian crisis.

Captain Amarinder has directed the Additional Chief Secretary (Horticulture) Himmat Singh to share details of the land with ICAR authorities and has also asked him to invite an ICAR team to inspect the site. He has also instructed the Deputy Commissioner Amritsar to get all other requisite formalities/permissions cleared for handing over immediate possession of the land to ICAR so that the project can be started at the earliest.

With farmers caught in a vicious wheat-paddy cycle and trapped by mounting debts, the state government is aggressively pursuing crop diversification, including horticulture, as a means for creating a new agricultural eco-system.

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