CWC TO POSE PROJECTS OF RAJASTHAN CANAL
AND SIRHIND FEEDER WORTH RS.261 CRORES TO THE WORLD BANK
Chandigarh August 22, 2008
In a significant decision, the Union Water Resources Minister
Mr.Saif- Ud-Din Soz today agreed in principle to pose projects
of Rajasthan Canal and Sirhind Feeder worth Rs.261 crores to the
World Bank for its up gradation and modernization to check the
huge loss of water due to seepage which had resulted in large
scale water logging in the Malwa Belt.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting between the
Punjab Chief Minister Mr.Parkash Singh Badal and Union Water Resources
Minister Mr Soz here in his office at Shram Shakti Bhawan.
Mr.Badal said that since the state was not in a position to
undertake up gradation of these projects due to paucity of funds
it had already referred a comprehensive proposal to the Central
Water Commission (CWC) which had now decided to take up with the
World Bank for its timely execution.
Mr.Badal also demanded that Centre should treat Shahpur Kandi
Dam as a "National Project"and bear 90% of its project
cost as the Government of India had only agreed to give 20.9%
of the total cost for irrigation component. Mr.Soz assured he
Chief Minister to get this proposal thoroughly examined by the
Ministry of Water Resources so that it could be executed within
a stipulated time frame.
Responding to another demand raised by Mr. Badal , the Union
Water Resources Minister agreed that the Center would bear the
entire expenditure of Rs.30 crore to undertake the repair of 150
Kms stretch of damaged 'bandhs' on river Beas Sutlej and Ravi
due to recent flood in the State.
Showing concern over the fast depletion of water table, Mr.Badal
also urged Mr. Soz to increase the allocation of funds under Accelerated
Irrigation Building Programme (AIBP) as Punjab was agrarian state
depending substantially on canal irrigation. He stated that the
state had not received any funds for the remodeling of Sirhind
Feeder andBathinda Branch at a cost ofRs. 407.03 crore and Rs238.18
Mr Soz informed the Chief Minister that the first installment
of Rs 34.33 crore would be soon released after the revision of
new guidelines under AIBP. Like wise projects worth Rs.552.crore
relating to rehabilitation of major canals under AIBP would be
soon appraised and approve by the CWC. He assured of full support
and cooperation to the Chief Minister for expeditiously execution
of the various irrigation projects in the state. He appreciated
the concern of Mr.Badal about the scarcity of ground water and
urged him to go for harvesting of rain water and recharge of ground
water to maintain the level of water table.
Mr.Badal was accompanied by his Principal Secretary DS Guru,Principal
Secretary Irrigation and Power Mr.Suresh Kumar, Special Principal
Secretary KJS Cheema and Principal Resident Commissioner Punajb
Bhawan New Delhi Mrs.Anjuly Chib Duggal .
PAWAR ASSURES BADAL FOR REMUNERATIVE MSP
FOR PADDY AND BONUS.
Chandigarh August 22, 2008
Union Agriculture Minister Mr.Sharad Pawar today gave in principle
assurance to the Punjab Chief Minister Mr.Parkash Singh Badal
that Government of India would soon announce an adequate hike
in the MSP of paddy well before the start of procurement to compensate
the expenses of farmers in remenumerative terms for high costs
of agricultural inputs incurred by them.
An assurance to this effect was given by Mr.Pawar to the Punjab
Chief Minister who called on the former in his office at Krishi
Bhawan in New Delhi this afternoon. Mr.Badal demanded the fixation
of MSP of common variety of Paddy and Grade A- Variety atRs.1400
and Rs.1500 per qtl respectively. It may be recalled the GoI had
fixed Rs.850 per qtl for common variety and Rs880/- for Grade-A
variety of paddy as the minimum support price for the Kharif Marketing
Season 2008-09 against the MSP of Rs.1000/- per qtl recommended
by Costs and Prices Commission for Agriculture.
Mr.Badal pointed out that the debt ridden farmers of Punjab deserved
much needed support so that they continue to contribute food grains
for the Central Pool to suitably augment the food security of
Responding to the demand of hike in paddy's MSP,Mr.Pawar also
assured the Chief Minister that besides the likely upward revision
of MSP, the Ministry of Agriculture was seriously contemplating
to announce a suitable bonus over and above the enhanced MSP of
The Chief Minister also impressed upon Mr.Pawar to ensure timely
arrangements for uninterrupted supply of 4.8 lac MT. of DAP to
Punjab before the on set of Rabi season. Mr.Badal also sought
the Union Agriculture Ministry's permission to export wheat and
rice to the international Market as done by Minerals & Metals
Trading Corporation (MMTC) and State Trading Corporation (STC)
on behalf of GoI, because the state agencies like Markfed, Punjab
Agro Industries Corporation & Punjab State Warehousing Corporation
had adequate experience of exporting food grains.
The Chief Minister also demanded that administrative /establishment
cost on both wheat and paddy should be reimbursed @Rs2.5% of MSP's
from 2008-09. At present reimbursement of these charges @Rs 2.5%
were only applicable in case of wheat and the state government
had been consistently representing that 2.5 % of MSP is quite
insufficient and did not fully cover the administrative expenses
and demanded its reimbursement on both the crops wheat and paddy.Mr.Badal
also impressed upon the Union Agriculture Minister to declare
PUSA-1121 as Basmati as the Indian Council of Agricultural Research
had already forwarded its recommendation to Secretary(Agriculture
and Cooperation) Govt. of India. Mr Badal mentioned that the area
under this variety had more than doubled in Punjab due to better
returns to the farmers during Kharif 2007(yield 18-22 quintals
per acre and market price Rs.1900-200 per quintal). He requested
Mr.Pawar that the notification regarding PUSA-1121 to be treated
as 'evolved basmati' variety should be issued immediately.
Referring to the National Food Security Mission-Wheat, Mr.Badal
asked the Agriculture Minister to adopt the remaining ten districts
in view of Punjab's tremendous contribution towards the Central
Pool as this initiative would further boost the prospects of high
yield of wheat both qualitatively and quantitatively. He also
solicited Agriculture ministry support for change in norms of
Rashtriya Krishi Vigyan Yojna (RKVY) to compensate for repairs
and maintenances of the existing developed Irrigation infrastructure.
Mr.Pawar assured the Chief Minister that he would soon address
all the pending issues of the Punjab Government relating to agriculture
and also directed the Secretary Food Distribution and Consumer
Affairs to immediately enhance the quota of food grains under
Public Distribution System for APL (Above Poverty Line) families
The Chief Minister was accompanied by the Cooperation Minister
Capt.Kanwaljit Singh,Food and Civil Supplies Minister Mr.Adesh
Partap Singh Kairon, his Media Advisor Mr.Harcharan Bains, Principal
Secretary,Mr.D.S.Guru, Principal Secretary Food and Civil Supplies
Mr.R.P.S.Pawar, Spl.Principal Secretary Mr.K.J.S.Cheema besides
the top senior functionaries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food,
Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs.
BADAL SEEKS SPECIAL PACKAGE OF RS. 530.36
CRORES TO FIGHT OUT FLOODS IN PUNJAB
CHANDIGARH, AUGUST 22, 2008
Punjab Chief Minister Mr.Parkash Singh Badal today called on
Union Home Minister Mr. Shivraj V.Patial at New Delhi to seek
special package of Rs.530.36 crore for the rehabilitation of flood
affected persons and restoration of damaged infrastructure due
to recent floods in the state.
Mr.Badal urged the Union Home Minister to relax the stringent
norms fixed for the eligibility criteria for entitlement under
Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) and suggested that the relief in case
of loss caused to crops should be hiked from Rs.4000/- to 15000/-
per hectare, like wise in case of damaged household goods it should
also be enhanced from Rs.1000/- to RS. 50,000/-. Giving the tentative
breakup of the funds required for undertaking rehabilitation and
restoration works in wake of the floods, Mr.Badal said that Rs.243.25
crore was required for the payment of relief on account of the
damage caused to crops, houses, cattle and infrastructure besides
Rs.287.18 crore for roads, dispensaries and school embankments.
Mr.Patil assured the Chief Minister that he would personally
take up the matter with Ministry of Planning for the relaxation
of norms of CRF and finally got it approved from the Union Cabinet.
He said that a Central Team would visit the flood affected areas
in the State tomorrow to access the quantum of damage caused to
standing crops, property and loss of human lives.Mr Patil also
assured the Chief Minister that the Government of India would
soon announce a special package for Punjab after seeking a detailed
report from the Central team.
Mr.Badal also impressed upon the Union Home Minister to personally
visit the border areas of Punjab to have first hand information
about the hardships faced by its residents. He urged Mr. Patil
to immediately grant Rs.9.25 crore for compensation to farmers
with fields across the international border @ Rs.5000 per acre.
He also demanded Rs.160 crore for the construction of modern jails
at Kapurthala and Faridkot as a one time grant besides Rs.140
crore for setting up Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police University as
a capital grant. The Chief Minister also asked Mr.Patil to personally
intervene to clear the state government's pending proposals relating
to the grant of Rs.92.86 crore for the provision of drinking water
and sewerage facilities in 11 towns of border districts in Punjab
under Border Area Development Project (BADP).
The Chief Minister also requested Mr.Patil to provide adequate
funds for the up gradation and modernization of spectators' galleries
at Atari in Amritsar district and Hussainiwala in Ferozepur district.
Referring to the modernization of State Forces Police, Mr.Badal
asked the Home Minister to enhance the modernilisation plan for
the year 2008-2009 from Rs.24 crore to Rs.100 crore out of which
GOI's share of Rs.75 crore should be immediately approved as the
Punjab Government was committed to give its share of Rs.25 crore
to sustain and carry forward steps initiated during the current
year, adding he said from the year 2009-2010 onwards the state
plan be fixed at the original outlay of Rs.64.20 crores.
Mr.Patil assured the Chief Minister that he would soon convene
a separate meeting of the Ministry of Home Affairs to clear all
the pending proposals of the Punjab Government relating to issues
raised by Mr.Badal.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by his Media Advisor Mr.
Harcharan Bains, Principal Secretary,Mr.D.S.Guru, Mrs.Anjuly Chib
Dugal Principal Resident Commissioner Punjab Bhawan New Delhi
and Special Priincipal to Chief Minister Mr K.J.S.Cheema.The Ministry
of Home Affairs was representative by Secretary Border Management
Mr.Jarnail Singh,Joint Secretary.Border Management Mr. Sada Nand,
Joint Secretary Disaster Management Mr. Prabhanshu Dass and Joint
Secretary Central State Relations Mr.N.S.Kalsi.
National Knowledge Commission suggests
Punjab to accredit education institutions
Chandigarh, August 22, 2008
National Knowledge Commission (NKC) today suggested Punjab Government
to introduce compulsory accreditation of Education Institutions
including Institutes of Higher Education to bring uniformity,
standardisation and transparency in their working.
Mr. S. Raghunathan, IAS (retd.) Advisor to National Knowledge
Commission (NKC) and his team today gave a presentation to Chief
Secretary Mr. R.I.Singh and Senior Civil Officers of Labour, Education,
Industries, I.T., Employment Generation Department to deliberate
upon recommendations of NKC. The Commission also suggested constituting
a board of higher education on the pattern of CBSE to stop proliferation
of various institutes of dubious character and also too lower
load on State Universities.
In a brain storming session, the commission also suggested that
while going ahead with bill on private universities, the recommendation
of NKC be kept in mind.
Suggesting for a sustained campaign for globalization of education,
the NKC team suggested state government to create a think tank
consisting of Chief Minister and Chief Secretary to monitor the
progress of higher education institution. It also suggested providing
digital infrastructure to the institutions and constituting a
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for this purpose.
The State Government had set up two Working Groups last year,
viz. on Business Process Reengineering in Government and Improving
Access to Language and Higher Education. These were based upon
the deliberations held with a team of the National Knowledge Commission
(NKC) led by Sh. S. Reghunathan, Advisor. Both the groups had
submitted reports to the state government and the state had constituted
task force with a steering committee headed by Chief Secretary.
Today NKC also submitted its knowledge related report to the
state government on higher education, Health Care, School Education.
Besides Chief Secretary Principal Secretary Labour Mr. P.Ram,
Director General MGSIPA Mr. B.K.Srivastava, Financial Commissioner
Cooperation Ms. Kusumjit Sidhu, Principle Secretary Mr. S.S.Channy,
Secretary Co-ordination Mr. Ashok Goyal, Secretary Higher Education
Mrs. Anjali Bhawra, Secretary I.T. Mr. Narinderjit Singh; Director,
Public Relation Mr. Tejveer Singh; Special Secretary Irrigation
Mr. A.K.Shekhar; Director General School Education Mr. Krishan
Kumar, Director General Employment Generation Mr. A.S.Mahajan;
Executive Director Punjab State Council of Science & Technology
Mr. N.S.Tiwana were also present in the meeting.
Ms. Sukhman Randhawa, Research Associate KNC also gave a presentation.
MAJOR RELIEF TO THE POOR FAMILIES- PUNJAB
DECIDES TO CONFER OWNERSHIP RIGHTS TO SCHEDULED CASTES AND VIMAKUT
JATIS ON PRE-OCCUPIED PART OF SHAMLAT LAND
CHANDIGARH, AUGUST 22
In a major relief to the poor families in the state, the Punjab
Government had decided to allot the ownership of pre-occupied
part of Shamlat land to the Scheduled Castes and Vimakut Jatis
including Bajigars, who had constructed their houses before August
Disclosing this here today S. Ranjit singh Brahampura, Rural
Development and Panchayats Minister, Punjab said that the poor
families, who have already constructed their dwelling houses on
Shamlat land in the villages, were suffering from humiliation
as they were facing eviction threats under the Punjab Panchayats
Raj Act 1994. Besides such families were also debarred from contesting
the panchayt at elections due to the unathorised/illegal possession
on the Shamlat land under the Panchayat Act, thus not enjoying
their fundamental rights in contesting the elections.
The Minister added that the village panchayats had already been
empowered to pass a resolution in a general meeting of Gram Sabha
to provide a portion of land out of Shamlat for a dwelling house
to the poor families of their villages but this process was so
complex and cumbersome that was creating hurdles in conferring
the title of land to the poor families. In order to bring more
transparency and simplify the process of sanctions, it had been
decided to empower the Deputy Commissioners to take such decisions
at their own, he said.
S. Brahampura added that the Block Development and Panchayat
Officers ( BDPOs) after examining the unanimous resolution of
a Gram Panchayat in this regard, would send the recommendations
to the DDPOs who in turn would submit the cases to the concerned
Deputy Commissioners for final approval. Under this plan only
those, Scheduled Castes and Vimukat Jatis, including Bajigars,
families could avail the benefits who were residing in the same
Gram Sabha area as a landless worker and were registered as a
voter in the village voter list having age more than 45 years.
The Panchayat Minister said that the Gram Panchayats would ensure
transparency and nondiscrimination decision while recommending
the poor beneficiaries to avail this benefit. The beneficiaries
must have constructed his/her house before August 15, 2008 and
the allotted land/house could not be transferred, sold or mortgazed.
But in case of securing a housing loan, the land/house could be
mortgazed to the landing institution.
The Minister added that Deputy Commissioners would ensure the
eligibility and genuinity of the beneficiary while disposing of
the cases and would report back to the Rural Development and Panchayats
Department. He clarified that the land reserved for religious
places, cremation/burial grounds, toilets etc could not be allotted
at any cost under this scheme.
IRRIGATION PROGRAMME FOR KHARIF SEASON
CHANDIGARH, 22 August, 2008
The Irrigation Department, Punjab has announced the Rotational
Programme for irrigation for the Kharif Season through Canal water
from 25 August to 1 September, 2008. The channels of Sirhind Canal
System would run on priority basis from Bist Doab Canal, Sidhwan
Branch, Bhatinda Branch, Patiala feeder and Abohar Branch respectively.
Disclosing this here today, a spokesman of the Irrigation department
said that direct distributaries of Bhakra Main Line, in Group
'A' being in the first preference would run to their indent. Balance
water supplies would be utilised in Ghaggar link and its off taking
channels i.e. Ghaggar Branch and Patiala Minor in Group 'B' respectively.
The spokesman further said that the Punjab channels off taking
from Harika and Ferozepur Head Works & Branches i.e. all the
direct distributaries of Sirhind Feeder in-group "A"
being in the first preference would run to their indent. Balance
water supplies would be utilised in Abohar Branch off taking from
Sirhind Feeder and its distributaries/minors in-group "B".
The spokesman also said that the channels off taking from upper
Bari Doab Canal i.e. Lahore Branch with its distributaries being
in first Preference would run to their indent. Balance Surplus
water available would be utilised in Main Branch Lower, Kasur
Branch Lower, Sabraon Branch and with its distributaries.
NEW TRANSPARENT PURCHASE POLICY FOR MEDICAL
INSTITUTIONS NOTIFIED –TIKSHAN SUD
Chandigarh, August 22: The Punjab Government today notified a
new transparent purchase policy, allowing Principals of Medical,
Dental, Ayurvedic & Homeopathic Colleges in the state to purchase
machinery & equipment as per rate contract of PGI, Govt. Medical
College & Hospital Sector 32, Chandigarh, Health & Family
Welfare Department Punjab and Punjab Health System Corporation
which ever is the lowest.
According to Mr. Tikshan Sud, Medical Education & Research
Minister this decision has been taken to avoid delay in process
of making purchase of Machinery and equipment for the Medical
Institutions in the State. He said that Director Medical Education
& Research would quarterly request the above government sources
to provide information regarding changes, if any, in the items
covered under rate contract and informed the Principles accordingly.
The Medical Education & Research Minister informed that
for items not covered under above rate contract and 11 members
Central Committees headed by Secretary Medical Education &
Research with Director Medical Education & Research , Punjab,
Director Research & Medical Education, Punjab (AYUSH), Representative
of Finance Department, Representative of Controller of Stores,
Punjab, Principal of Medical College, Principal Dental College,
Principal government Ayurvedic College, Representative of Punjab
Health System Corporation, Representative of Health and Family
Welfare Department, Punjab, Representative of Director, PGI, Chandigarh
and Representative of Director Vigilance Department, Punjab has
Similarly for purchases below 1 lac a five members committee
of the institute under the Chairmanship of Head of Institution
have been constituted.
The Minister said that this policy has been framed to cut red
tappism besides also keeping in view emergent need of equipments
and machinery in the medical institutions
BADAL FELICITATES DR. MANN ON ACHIEVING
PUNJAB'S DOCTOR GETS TOP US AWARD ON DENTAL IMPLANTS
CHANDIGARH, AUGUST 22: A Punjab cadre dentist Dr. Randeep Singh
Mann B.D.S, PCMS-I presently on deputation with UT Administration,
Chandigarh has got the rare US award on Dental Implants.
Dr. Mann is the first doctor of Punjab and Chandigarh to receive
this illustrious Fellowship of International Congress of Oral
Implantology. The award is bestowed by the Congress after scrutinizing
Oral Implants received from all over the World. Dr. Mann has been
invited by the International congress to receive the award at
a special ceremony to be held at 11th Implant Prosthetic Symposium
being held at Chicago Illinois on August 24, 2008.
The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today congratulated
Dr. Mann for achieving this global distinction.
Dr. Mann was recently honoured by Punjab Government with the
State Award on Independence Day at Ludhiana. He was also been
decorated by UT Administration Chandigarh on 26th January, 2008
for meritorious services.
Dr. Mann has also been appointed as Visiting Oberver Faculty
in the department of Dentistry at Yale-New-Haven Hospital and
Department of Surgery (Dental) Yale School of Medicine.
DON'T TURN PUNJAB INTO KASHMIR: BADAL
TO MANMOHAN SUKHBIR LEADS AKALI DELEGATION TO PM OVER THE GURDWARA
Manmohan's response positive: Badal
Chandigarh August 22, 2008
The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today asked
the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to "intervene effectively
and immediately to save Punjab from being turned into another
Kashmir by the Congress party's highly ill-advised and ill-conceived
move of setting up a separate Gurdwara panel" in Haryana.
Mr. Badal's remarks came after the Shiromani Akali Dal president,
Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal led a delegation to the Prime Minister
in the latter's South Block office here this morning. The delegation
comprised, apart from the Chief Minister, senior Akali leaders
Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Captain Kanwaljit Singh. The delegation
also submitted a memorandum to the PM on this sensitive religious
"I hope the centre would realize the gravity of the situation
and stop the Haryana government from going ahead with its attempts
to break up the supreme and elected Sikh religious institution,
the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC)," said
Referring to the serious implications of the Congress move,
the Chief Minister said, "We are a peace loving community
and we are hoping that the attempts to open a fresh festering
wound in the country in Punjab would be dropped. The whole of
the country is already up in flames and it can easily do without
another trouble spot in Punjab along the lines of Jammu and Kashmir."
The Chief Minister told waiting media persons that the SAD's
demand seemed to have struck a sympathetic chord with the Prime
Minister who assured the delegation that he would direct the Union
Home Minister Mr. Shiv Raj Patil to take up the matter with the
Haryana government. "The Prime Minister informed us that
he could understand the seriousness of the problem and the sensitivities
of the Sikh masses on the issue as his own father had courted
arrest in the struggle for the formation of the SGPC before Independence
of the country," said the Chief Minister.
Mr. Badal said that Punjab today was one of the few oases of peace
in the country and the Congress party's move to ride roughshod
over the sentiments of the Sikh community would seriously impact
the situation in the entire region. "We have already paid
a very heavy price for similar misadventures of the Congress in
trying to divide the Sikhs. We are hoping that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi
would draw correct lessons from Punjab's and country's traumatic
experience of the eighties and not persist with her party's dangerous
adventurism in Haryana and Punjab," said Mr. Badal.
Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, who also addressed the media after
the meeting with the PM, described the Congress party's move as
"a blunder of the Himalayan magnitude." He said that
Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and the government of India must realize that
even a small issue like the transfer of a few acres of land to
a religious shrine could blow into a major national calamity,
as it had done in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The enormity of the blunder being committed by the Congress
with regard to the SGPC is many times more dangerous and that
party must not be allowed to play havoc with national interests
for its petty political gains," said an emotionally charged
Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal also submitted a memorandum on behalf
of his party to the Prime Minister. The memorandum warned that
the situation in the country in general and in Punjab in particular
"could take a serious and explosive turn" if the Prime
Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh did not intervene both with Sonia
Gandhi and the Haryana government to stop the Haryana government
from its dangerous move which could turn the Sikh issue into a
major national crisis. The Memorandum traced the history of the
"Mini Parliament of the Sikhs, the SGPC" since the days
of the Jaitau Morcha. Mahatma Gandhi had described the success
of that Morcha which culminated in the setting of this democratic
religious Sikh institution as the "first victory of the struggle
Later, the first Prime Minister of the country, Pandit Jawahar
Lal Nehru reached a pact with the Sikh stalwart, Master Tara Singh
which said that no state or Union government would ever interfere
with the Sikh religious affairs and any decision concerning the
religious issues of the community would be taken only after the
prior consent of the overwhelming majority of the SGPC, said the
resolution. "Not only is the glory of the struggle, which
was hailed by Mahatma Gandhi as a national milestone, being undermined
but an effort is being made to undo the proud history of the Sikhs
and the country through this highly explosive move," the
resolution further said.