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Punjab Govt
May 14, 2008





Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today called for chalking out a multi-pronged time bound strategy to achieve the objective of 'safe drinking water for all' through proper monitoring of rural water supply schemes by application of Reverse Osmosis (RO), Silver Ionization and Ultra Violet techniques depending on the quality of water.

Presiding over a meeting of the expert committee on "Audit of Drinking Water Quality & Rural Water Supply Schemes" here this morning, Mr. Badal directed the State Chief Secretary to convene a meeting of officers from Punjab State Pollution Control Board, Punjab State Council for Science & Technology, departments of Water Supply & Sanitation and Health to finalize the modalities to implement the schemes aimed at purifying water especially in the most polluted zones of the state with a high variant of toxicity due to industrial wastes & effluents, overuse of pesticides. He also asked the Secretary Water Supply & Sanitation to identify the processes of purification of water block wise after carrying out an extensive survey as the quality of water varied from village to village.

Mr. Badal assured the committee that there was no paucity of funds for the implementation of the recommendations given by the expert committee since water was the life line and moreover the state government was committed to provide safe water to the people. He also underscored the need to educate the people through organizing state wide mass awareness campaigns using rural health workers including Active Social Health Associates (ASHAs) about the ill-effects of contaminated water and consequently the likely threat of out breaks of viral hepatitis, gastrointestinal infections besides bone & joint disorders and dental caries.

Briefing the Chief Minister the Chairman of the Expert Committee & Vice Chairman Punjab State Planning Board Prof. JS Bajaj emphasised the need for a holistic approach keeping in view sub optimal community management of water resources including over-exploitation, insensitivity to conservation, inappropriate agriculture practices and inadequate treatment of municipal and industrial waste etc. "The plethora of programmes being funded through Central support and States's own resources, need to be harnessed by assuring synergy and convergence" said Mr. Bajaj.

The expert committee also observed that the health effects were considered a manifestation of higher level of heavy metals and pesticides in drinking water which were also accumulating in food chain as well as in human biological fluid samples such as blood and urine. The committee also recommended to constitute a dedicated group of secretaries administering all concerned departments/programmes involved in the provision of potable water in rural areas under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary. The group of Secretaries would periodically report to the Chief Minister seeking further directions and guidance.

Earlier, Mr.Bajaj submitted the report of Expert Committee on Audit of Drinking Water Quality & Rural Water Supply Schemes.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister held detailed deliberations with the team of experts from Ion Exchange India Ltd. - a reputed company in the field of water purification led by its Managing Director Rajesh Sharma. Mr. Badal asked the General Manager North Manish Gandhi to undertake a study especially in the Malwa belt which had a high incidence of Cancer to determine the nature of contamination in the water and suggest versatile technology to improve the quality of water for drinking and irrigation purposes.

Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included Health & Family Welfare Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Chief Secretary RI Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru, Secretary Science Technology & Environment AS Chhatwal, Secretary Water Supply & Sanitation PS Aujla, Special Secretary Planning Tejveer Singh, Executive Director PSCST NS Tiwana and Chairman Punjab state Pollution Control Board Yogesh Goel.


CHANDIGARH, May 14, 2008

The Irrigation Department, Punjab has announced the Rotational irrigation Programme for the Kharif Season through Canal water from 13 May to 20 May, 2008. The channels of Sirhind Canal System would run on priority basis from Patiala feeder, Abohar Branch, Bist Doab Canal, Sidhwan Branch, Bhatinda Branch and respectively.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the irrigation department said that direct distributaries of Ghaggar link and its off taking channels i.e. Ghaggar Branch and Patiala Minor in Group 'B' being in the Ist preference will run to their indent. Balance water supplies available will be utilised in direct distributaries of Bhakra main line of Group 'A'.

The spokesman further said that the Punjab channels off taking from Harika and Ferozepur Head Works & Branches i.e. Abohar Branch off taking from Sirhind Feeder and its distributaries of group "B" would run on first preference to their indent. Balance water supplies available would be utilised in direct distributaries of Sirhind Feeder in Group "A".

The spokesman also said that the channels off taking from upper Bari Doab Canal i.e. Sabraon Branch with its distributaries being in first Preference would run to their indent. Balance Surplus water available would be utilised in Kasur Branch Lower, Main Branch Lower, Lahore Branch and with its distributaries respectively.



Chandigarh, May 14:

Six government agencies and private millers in Punjab have procured more than 101.96 lac tonnes of wheat against 74.33 Lac tonnes procured till date last year recording a growth of over 37% than last year.

According to an official spokesman, out of 101,96,983 tonnes procured till date which 9617394 tonnes (94.3%) has been procured for the central pool and 2,87,286 tonnes (2.8%) for the State pool whereas traders lifted 2,92.303 tonnes of Wheat.

The spokesman said that till May 13, PUNGRAIN had procured 17, 92,674 tonnes (18.6%) whereas MARKFED procured 23, 06,493 tonnes (24%). PUNSUP procured 22, 07, 546 tonnes (23%), PSWC procured 11, 77,397 tonnes (12.4%) whereas PAIC was able to procure10, 87,568 tonnes (11.3 %) of wheat for the central pool. The Central Government agency FCI had been able to procure 10, 45,716 tonnes (10.9%) for the central pool.

He added that Ferozepur District with 11,89,471 tonnes of procurement was leading in procurement operations whereas Sangrur District with 9,46,872 tonnes of procurement was at second slot and Ludhiana district with 8,43,006 tonnes of procurement ranked at third position.

The Punjab Government allocated more than Rs. 11316 crores to the agencies for making payment to the farmers for wheat procured upto May 12, 2008 ensuring payment to the farmers within 48 hours of lifting of their wheat.

The State Government has set up over 1623 procurement centres and activated its total machinery to ensure smooth procurement of wheat, the spokesman added.



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