Punjab government has demanded the Centre to redress grievances of the people living in the state’s area bordering Pakistan.

In memorandum submitted to Union Defence minister Nirmala Sitaraman during her visit to the Hussainiwala on Sunday, Punjab minister, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, demanded that the compensation amount to the farmers having land outside the barbed wire fence in the border area should be increased to Rs 20,000.

The Sports and Youth Affairs minister, Sodhi said besides this, the Army should issue ‘no objection’ certificate to farmers to provide electricity connections to them who spend money on diesel in order to operate the tubewells for better maintenance of their crops. The ownership rights should be given to the poor farmers who cultivate the land outside barbed wire fence.

Divulging more, Sodhi said that he also apprised the Union minister regarding the problems being faced by the people of the cantonment area.

The permission should be granted to repair the buildings in cantonment area which are in dilapidated condition. The transfer of property should be allowed so as to make the people avail benefits such as house loans, he said.

The old law of the erstwhile British era should be abolished as per which a foreigner can buy property but the Indian has to take permission in case the value of the property is exceeding Rs 5000, the minister said adding that the Cantonment Act, 2006 must be suitably amended so as to ensure that there is no interference of the army in the civil area.

The lease of the properties which have expired must be renewed and the policy for making these freehold should be made. The public representatives must be involved while making the land policy, Sodhi said.

He said the Union Defence minister has given positive response to the demands raised by him. “The Defence minister agreed in principle to issue ‘no objection’ certificates for providing electricity connection and also assured to consider other demands,” Sodhi said.

A strategically important 280 feet long historic bridge at Hussainiwala, which was blown off during 1971 Indo-Pak war, was dedicated to the nation on Sunday by Union defence minister, Sitharaman on Sunday.

The bridge having four spans connects Ferozpur with Hussainiwala barrage on River Sutlej on the old Ferozpur- Lahore Highway.

It is the only life line for nearly 10 villages connecting Hussainiwala enclave with the rest of the country.