Why Punjab Got Its New District On The Eve Of Eid-Ul-Fitr?
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh gave his state a strange gift on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr. He declared Malerkotla as the 23rd district of the state, just before the pre-poll results would roll in.
Addressing the state dwellers amidst partial lockdown situation in Punjab, Mr. Singh announced this through a virtual address. This declaration has appeased the Muslim community that had been asking for a distinct district. The town has a predominant Muslim population.
Under the aegis of the Congress, Mr. Singh has made the right move to win a vote bank from the Muslim community as well. This has been a long pending demand in the tenure of cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and then finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal. But since 2017, Malerkotla was never declared a district.
Dwellers would have to travel to Sangrur to get paperwork done as Malerkotla would fall under Sangrur district. Malerkotla is about 35 km from Sangrur.
Amarinder also announced that a medical college, at the cost of Rs 500 crore, named after Sher Mohammad Khan, would be set up in the district. It is worth noting that this is the only Muslim minority district in Punjab.
Additionally, he has also announced a sum of Rs. 6 crores under the Urban Environment Improvement Programme (UEIP). The cherry on the cake is the fact that the CM is keen to develop this new district’s cultural heritage for which he has already written to Aga Khan Foundation to undertake conservation and restoration of the Mubarak Manzil Palace.
In a tweet later, he said, “Happy to share that on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, my govt has announced Malerkotla as the newest district in the state. The 23rd district holds huge historical significance. Have ordered to immediately locate a suitable site for the district administrative complex.” Later on, the process of bringing villages under the jurisdiction of the Malerkotla district will begin after the conclusion of the Census operations.
Amarinder Singh is said to have also directed the Sangrur deputy commissioner to find a suitable building to immediately start the functioning of the district administration office, according to an official statement.