Amritsar, Mar.29: Reiterating that he had deep, strong, emotional and spiritual bonding with the holy city of Amritsar, former Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Saturday said the city is both historic as well as a religious place.
He recalled his days during the 1965 Indo-Pak war and said that he had spent the entire wartime period in and around Amritsar as an Aide-De-Camps (ADC) to the Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh, the GOC-in-C of the Western Command, after having rejoined the army to fight the war.
Addressing a press conference here, Amarinder said he and his family’s association with the holy city goes back to over 100 years when his great grandfather Maharaja Rajinder Singh made contribution to the Khalsa College Amritsar and later his grandfather Maharaja Bhupinder Singh set up first rural girl’s school at Kairon.
Besides, he added that he himself had served as the Chancellor of the Khalsa College, Amritsar for many years.
Referring to the 1965 Indo-Pak war, Capt. Amarinder revealed that when the then Chief of Army Staff Gen JN Chaudhary asked Lt Gen Harbaksh to evacuate from Amritsar and move towards Beas, Lt Gen Harbaksh refused.
“Had he (Lt Gen Harbaksh) not refused to evacuate we might have lost Amritsar that time and I feel proud that I camped here along with him as his ADC to save this Holy City from the enemy occupation”, Capt Amarinder said.
Although Amarinder had taken early retirement from the army, as his father Maharaja Yadvinder Singh had joined as Indian Ambassador in Italy, he rejoined Indian Army after war broke out with Pakistan and served as ADC to Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh.
He said the 11 Corps was deployed at Raya, 4th Division at Khemkaran, 7th Division at Barki and 15th Division at Wagah.
He also spelt out his vision for Amritsar and said that he had figured it out way back in 2002 when he was Chief Minister of the state. He said there was detailed project report called ‘City Development Plan: Vision 2025′.
He said he was sure after Akalis came to power they may not have even read a word of it, leave aside implementing it.
To another question, Amarinder said he will study the issues and problems of Amritsar and see what needs to be done, what should be done and what can be done.
He clarified saying: “It is not my habit to make commitments which cannot be fulfilled later. I only say what I mean and what I mean, I ensure I do it”.
The former Chief Minister pointed out that it was during 2002 and 2007 that the elevated road to Darbar Sahib and Bhandari Bridge at a cost of Rs 173 crores were constructed, Rs 240 crores were sanctioned for water supply and sewerage system, Rs 125 crores for the development of wards, approval for Galiyara Project at a cost of Rs 78 crores besides getting approval of Rs 3150 crores for the development of Amritsar under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. But unfortunately, he added, the Akalis did not take the project any further. By: Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)