Amritsar, January 1
The dawn of New Year always brings with its new hopes and resolutions. A cross-section of the city residents expressed hope that in the New Year the groundwork would be laid for starting construction work on the proposed Post Graduate Institute of Horticulture Research and Education (PGIHRE).
About six months ago, the state government had issued a notification to purchase 32 acres of land in Chhiddan village for the PGIHRE project on the Amritsar-Attari road.
Kuljit Singh, a progressive farmer, said a chunk of 100 acres was transferred in the name of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) at Attari village way back in 2015. Despite the fact that the Central Government would provide all budgetary provisions on the expenses incurred on the construction of the buildings, salary of faculty and research works along with other contingencies, which is estimated to be over Rs 1,700 crore in the initial stages, the project has yet to see the light of day.
Thereafter, only meaningful progress was made on the matter in June last year when the state government issued a notification to purchase the land on the Attari road. Once established, the institute would scientifically and technically guide farmers to come out of stagnation in farming and diversify, he said.
Balbir Singh, a retired agriculture scientist, said where they would get more than 100 horticulture scientists of international fame to carry on research in the field of fruit and vegetable and other streams of agriculture. Only this institute offers all these Ramp;D assistance which would help increase the income of the farming community many of whom are under debt.
Jagtar Singh, Deputy Director, Horticulture Department, said firstly SDM Lopoke, who is also Land Acquisition Officer, would hand over the award to the owner of 32 acres of land after getting it sanctioned. Once acquired, the construction work would be initiated to raise administration block, classrooms and a hostel at the site for the PGIHRE here. Around 100 acres of land at Attari village would be used for research work, he added.