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July, 2008


"The UPA won but the country and democracy lost", Parkash Singh Badal


"The UPA won but the country and democracy lost. The vote of trust for the government has come at the expense of trust among the people in our parliamentary system." This is how the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal described the outcome of the two day debate on confidence motion in the Lok Sabha which concluded last night .

The Chief Minister said that if the ruling alliance had not subverted free and fair democratic exercise through corrupt practices, horse-trading etc., and if the MPs had voted according to their party alignments before the Lok Sabha session started, the UPA would have lost. He said that the massive resort to corrupt practices had made a mockery of the country's well established party system.

The Chief Minister referred to "shameful scenes of display of naked money power" and said that this had confirmed the worst suspicion of the people about the moral degeneration of our political system. "This was the worst hour in the history of the nation and Indians all over the world had to hang their heads in shame," said Mr. Badal.

The Chief Minister said that UPA government winning amidst "scenes that put the country, its polity and parliament to shame is a matter that needs deep introspection about how our rulers at the national helm have behaved in full glare of international view. The UPA may have won a numerical victory but they suffered a huge moral defeat," said the Chief Minister.

Mr. Badal said that the country now looked up to the Speaker Mr. Som Nath Chatterjee to conduct a full and fair inquiry into the matter to expose the guilty and restore the faith of our people in the political system.

Mr. Badal said that he had the highest regards for the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh as an individual but it was unbelievable that in his concluding speech, he did not even consider the disgraceful incidents important enough to comment on.

About the nuclear deal, Mr. Badal said that the UPA kept it suspiciously under the wraps till the very last moment and that raised all kinds of doubts in the minds of the people. "If they had been transparent about it, at least with their own allies, the whole sordid chapter would have been avoided. "

Mr. Badal said that his party is in favour of the use of nuclear energy so long as " we are able to achieve that without compromising on our vital national interests and sovereignty. The SAD stands for a strong and progressive India and anything that promotes that goal is welcome but the UPA handled the whole issue as it was a close family secret. They should have taken the entire country into confidence on the issue." He said that nuclear plants should be set up at places which are thinly populated and the power can be pooled into a national grid which can be evacuated to where it is needed."

Referring to reports about the absence of an Akali MP from the voting, Mr. Badal said that the matter would be dealt with as per the party constitution and as per the law of the land.


Chandigarh: July 23, 2008

After the successful implementation of pilot project in 50 villages of Gidderbaha constituency in Muktsar District through a NGO of International repute- Naandi Foundation, the Punjab Government has decided a principal to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to cover the entire State under this programme.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting between the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and the Chairman Naandi Foundation Mr. Kallam Anji Reddy here this evening.

Taking part in the deliberation, Mr. Badal evinced keen interest to implement the programme initiated by the Naandi foundation in the right earnest so that the people of Punjab could get clean and safe drinking water especially in the Malwa belt. Mr. Badal asked the Member Parliament from Bathinda Mrs. Paramjit Kaur Gulshan who was also present in the meeting to support this programme by giving a grant of Rs. 1 crore from her Local Area development (M P LAD) fund to implement this scheme in 20 villages of Bathinda district. Mr. Badal also directed the sanitation and water supply department to prepare an action plan to prioritize villages to be selected for this scheme in view of high level of fluoride content in the underground water in this Malwa region. He also sought the expertise of Naandi foundation for cleaning of village ponds which had now virtually turned into a dumping space of sullage and sewage gathered from the entire village. He emphasized the need to recycle the pond water for irrigation purposes and these ponds could again the filled with clean water which could further be used for fishing and domestic use.

Chief executive officer (North India) of Naandi foundation Mrs. Isher Judge Ahluwalia urged the Chief Minister to replicate the Giddarbaha project of Reverse Osmosis vigorously to provide clean drinking water in the other parts of the state also.

Earlier, the Finance Minister Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal appreciated the initiative of Naandi Foundation, which had succeeded in changing the mindset of the public in motivating them to use R O treated water in the Giddarbaha region. He said now the usage of clean drinking water had become a mass movement in this belt because people had now realized the importance of portable drinking water as they were becoming more health conscious with every passing day.

Sanitation and Water Supply Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia assured the Chief Minister that there was no paucity of funds for the provision of clean drinking water. He said the department had already short listed the villages to be cover under this project in a phased manner He however said that Masna, Muktsar, Bathinda and border districts of Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur and Gurdaspur would be covered in the first phase.

Prominent amongst other who attended the meeting included Chief Secretary Punjab Mr. R.I Singh, Principal Secretaryt to Chief Minister Mr. D.S. Guru, Secretary Sanitation and Water Supply P.S. Aujla and Chief Engineer water supply S.R. Aggarwal.


Chandigarh July 23, 2008

The Punjab Government today announced the Punjabi Sahit Shiromani Awards for the years 2007 and 2008 and has selected noted novelist Mr. Jaswant Singh Kanwal and writer Dr. Dalip Kaur Tiwana for this award. Besides this 26 literary personalities from different fields have also been selected for various 13 Shiromani Awards.

Presiding over a meeting of State Advisory Board Languages department Punjab, Dr. Upinderjit Kaur Education and Languages Minister Punjab said that 28 personalities have been selected unanimously by the advisory board for 14 different Shiromani awards. She said that the name of Punjabi Sahit Shiromani Award has been rechristened as Punjabi Sahit Ratan to which the board members endorsed in unanimity.

During the meeting held here Mr. Jaswant Singh and Dr. Dalip Kaur Tiwana have been selected for Punjabi Sahit Shiromani Award, Mr. Kartar Singh Suri and Mr. Pargat Singh Sidhu for Shiromani Punjabi Sahitkar Award, Dr. Chander Trikha and Mrs. Virender Sandhu for Shiromani Hindi Sahitkar Award, Mr. Prem Kumar and Dr. Nashir Naqvi for Shiromani Urdu Sahitkar Award, Dr. Brij Bihari Choube and Dr. Ravinder Kaur for Shiromani Sanskrit Sahitkar Award.

Dr. Harinder Singh Mehboob and Mrs. Sukhwinder Amrit were selected Shiromani Punjabi Kavi (poet) Award, Mr. Karnail Singh Thind and Dr. Jaswinder Singh for Shiromani Punjabi Gyan Sahitkar/Alochik Award, Mr. Parminder Sodhi (Japan) and Janab Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan) for Shiromani Punjabi Sahitkar (overseas) Award, Mr. Chotu Ram Moudgil and Mr. S Saki for Shiromani Punjabi Sahitkar Award (out of Punjab), Mr. Jasbir Singh Jass and Dr. Sukhwant Kaur Mann for Shiromani Punjabi Bal Sahitkar Lekhak (writer) Award, Mr. G.S. Sidhu Damdami (Punjabi Tribune) and Mr. Paramjit Singh Sasan (Ajit) for Shiromani Punjabi Patarkar Award, Bhai Banta Singh Ragi and Bhai Gursharn Singh Ragi for Shiromani Ragi/Dhadi/Kavishar Award, Mrs. Gurmeet Bawa and Mr. G.S.Sachdev (flute) for Shiromani Punjabi Singer/Musician Award, Mr. Amrik Gill and Mr. Jatinder Brar has been selected for Shiromani Punjabi TV/Radio/Theater/Natak/Actor/Producer/Writer Award.

The Minister said that the awardees of Shiromani Puraskars would be honoured on August 8, 2008 in a function to be held at Chandigarh and Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Parkash Singh Badal would present these awards to the selected personalities. She added that the prize money for the Punjabi Sahit Shiromani Award has been doubled from Rs. 2.5 lac to Rs. 5 lac and for other Shiromani awards it has been increased from Rs. 1 lac to 2.5 lac.

Among others Mr.Jaspal Singh Secretary Higher Education and Languages, Mrs. Balbir Kaur Director Languages Department Punjab, Dr. Surjit Patar, Bhai Baldeep Singh, Gulzar Singh Sandhu, Dr. Deepak Manmohan Singh, Dr. Satinder Noor, Sardar Panchi, Mr. Satnam Manak(Ajit), Mr. Sidhu Damdami (Punjabi Tribune), Mr. N.S. Parwana, Dr. Satinder Singh and Bibi Kiranjot Kaur were also present in the meeting.



Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal expressed profound grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Bhai Devinder Singh Sidhu, Political Adviser Shiromani Akali Dal and father of Bhai Sukhdeep Singh, OSD to Chief Minister Punjab died at Washington D.C. in United States on last Friday after a brief illness. He was 66 and a survived by his wife and two sons.

In a condolence message, Mr. Badal said that Bhai Devinder Singh Sidhu was a disciplined solider of the party and in his death a void has been created which was difficult to be filled. He recalled his services for the uplift of the down trodden and the spread of education in the Malwa belt.

Mr. Badal expressed his heart felt sympathies with the members of the bereaved family and prayed to Almighty to give strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss and grant peace to the departed soul.

Member Parliament and President Shiromani Akali Dal Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal also mourned the death of Bhai Devinder Singh Sidhu and described him as a loyalist of the SAD who relentlessly worked for the welfare of the party and the overall development of the Malwa region.

According to the family sources, the cremation of Bhai Devinder Singh Sidhu will take place at his native village Bhucho Khurd in district Bathinda tomorrow. Bhog and Antim Ardas would be held on July 27 at his village.



The Punjab government today decided to enhance the current allowance from Rs.600/- to Rs.1200/- per child per month with immediate effect for the visually handicapped children of the Blind School Jamalpur in district Ludhiana.

A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting held here under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal as a follow up action to the recent visit of Mr. Badal to the Brail Bhawan, Jamalpur on 17th July.

Mr. Badal also asked the Secretary Water & Sanitation to immediately undertake the work to provide safe drinking water at a cost of Rs.12.85 lakh in the institute for blind students by the end of October. The Chief Minister also asked the Chief Secretary to send a team of senior officers to visit the institute of visually impaired Dehradun to seek expert advice for the upgradation of Brail Bhawan thereby increasing its intake capacity to 500 visually impaired students. He also directed the Finance Department to immediately release a sum of Rs.40 lakh for the installation of new brail press and a digital studio in the institute. Besides he also agreed in principle to upgrade the existing high school to 10+2 level.

The Chief Minister also deputed Director Sports to visit the Institute and prepared a detailed plan for the development and expansion of existing play grounds. He also asked the Mayor, Municipal Corporation Ludhiana to construct a foot over bridge at a cost of Rs.75 lakh across the Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway to ensure easy access to the visually impaired children to the institute.

Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana assured the Chief Minister that the works related to the construction of boundary wall and reception centre would be completed at the earliest from within the resources of district administration.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary RI Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru, Principal Secretary Finance DS Kalha, Secretary Social Security Harjit Singh, Secretary Water Supply & Sanitation PS Aujla, Special Secretary Planning Tejveer Singh, Director Social Security Rakhi Gupta Bhandari and Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana Sumer Singh Gurjar.


Chandigarh, July 23, 2008
Naginder Singh

The persistent demand of the farmers, the Punjab State Electricity Board had re-introduced Voluntary Disclosure Scheme (V.D.S) for Tubewell Consumers to regularize un-authorize loads of higher size motors/submersible pump sets used by them.

Disclosing this here today an official spokesman said that special camps were also being organized at many places to regularize such loads at nominal charges without any penalty. Regularization Charges have been fixed Rs. 1000/- for per BHP for extended load only. However the rates of security would remain Rs. 200 per BHP for extended loads only.

Tubewell connections released within last 3 years either under general category or any other priority category should not be entitled to get un-authorized load regularized under VDS. However such consumers were allowed to get their load regularized at the rate of Rs. 3000/- per BHP, except for connections released under discretionary quota of Chairman, the rate for enhancing load would be Rs. 5000/- per BHP.

For these farmers should contact the concerned field office to regularize their un-authorized tubewell loads, on the spot by getting entries made in their pass books, before 31-7-2008, because no further extension would be given before this.




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