Punjab – up for better connectivity

Whether it is the roads, railways or the air connectivity, Punjab has always been working hard to connect its various cities to other parts of the country and the world, so that the people can travel uninterrupted. Chandigarh and Ludhiana are two of those cities of Punjab where people regularly travel to and fro, for business as well as leisure. To increase the connectivity between the two cities, the Punjab government recently approved a highway project between the two cities, for smoother transportation. The project approved costs around Rs. 2, 070 crores.

This laid down plan will be between Kharar and Ludhiana, which is a part of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana section. A six/four lane highway will be built between Kharar and Ludhiana, which will help in reducing the travel time between the two places. This highway stretches to around 76 kilometers and is currently a two-lane road. The authorities says that it would take around 30 months to complete this entire project as they are yet to acquire 145 hectares of the required 383.2 hectares of land.

On the other hand, when it comes to the Railways, the train travelling between Ferozepur and Jammu is being planned to be extended till Katra. This decision has been taken, keeping in mind the high numbers of people travelling on this route till the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine. Along with this, the Union Minister of State for Railways has also promised the travellers that he will soon be starting a new train to Haridwar. A train is currently running from Punjab to Haridwar, but it was supposed to be a special holiday season train. Now, the authorities are planning to include it in the schedule and make it a regular train for people travelling to this highly visited pilgrimage.

This train to Haridwar from Ferozepur, if made permanent, will not only benefit the tourists but will also help the Railways authorities to generate revenue as there are a lot of business transactions carried out between Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. This can act as a good mode of transportation for goods too. Many more changes were proposed during the meeting, out of which some like, the light and sound show were considered by the ministry and will be worked upon very soon.

ROBs / RUBs – An initiative to accelerate public convenience in Punjab

Over 405 Road over bridges (ROBs) / full height Road under Bridges (RUBs) were completed in the fiscal year of 2014 – 2015. As 1492 Road over bridges (ROBs) / full height Road under Bridges (RUBs) were sanctioned for construction work on 1st April, 2015 a proactive approach was evident with completion of 184 ROBs / RUBs.

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With the motive of improving road – connectivity in the state, the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government allocated an investment of Rs. 318 crore in January, 2013 through building Road over bridges (ROBs) / full height Road under Bridges (RUBs). A total number of 13 ROBs and RUBs were to be constructed with the prescribed amount. Under the proficient guidance of the chief secretary, Sarvesh Kaushal a meeting was held with the prominent officers of the Northern railways, regarding the agenda of constructing Road over bridges (ROBs) / full height Road under Bridges (RUBs) in the state.

The proposal of initiating the construction of ROBs / RUBs in the regions of Malwa, Doaba, Majha and Ferozepur region, in order to decongest traffic as per the requirements of the region were discussed. A marathon meeting was held by the Punjab cabinet in early February this year, with a view of giving an image make – over to the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government.

The budget session for the financial year 2016 – 2017 included deliberations to raise loans for building Road over bridges (ROBs) / full height Road under Bridges (RUBs) according to its concurrence to the dedicated freight corridor corporation of India, in order to raise funds of Rs 92.25 crore as state share for constructing about 17 railway over bridges (ROBs), railway under bridges (RUBs) in the Punjab state. It has been decided that the loans shall be repaid back in 10 years with a three-year moratorium.

As the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government completed 9 years of successful governance, the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal informed that there has been a complete transformation in the national highway network in the State with the coming up of 17 different 4/6 laning motorways spanning a length of 1,369 kms at a cost of Rs. 18,761 crore besides maintenance and up-gradation of highways costing Rs. 1,474 crore and ROBs/RUBs at a cost of Rs, 1,600 crore. “This would definitely provide an impetus to the State economy and make a significant difference in trucking logistics with increase in average road speed,” he emphasized.

It would not be wrong to claim that with the stringent, responsive and dedicated efforts of the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government the roadways and railways of the state has been paving its way towards development. The construction of Road over bridges (ROBs) / full height Road under Bridges (RUBs), has played a pivotal role in checking road congestion in the state.

Marketing of food grains – Link roads get repaired

Marketing of food grains is a cornerstone element of the agricultural sector in a state. The food and civil supplies department of the Punjab government, has been taking efficient and effective steps to ensure suave and hassle free marketing of food grains.

Marketing of food grains – Link roads get repaired.pngThe state of Punjab has been operating pro – actively towards repairing, maintenance and construction of link roads which is clearly evident from the fact that, all the villages of the state are linked with mandis, with the help of a vast network of rural link roads that are carpeted every six years with the premix. Punjab, being an agrarian state where 75% of the population depends directly or indirectly on agriculture to earn a living, and stringent efforts are being made by the state government to improve the facilities in all respects.

The agricultural produce of the farmers shall yield productive results only when, its cornerstone i.e. marketing of food grains is operating efficiently in a state. The marketing of food grains in Punjab is witnessed to be a success in the state, owing to the potent road network and its maintenance.

The total length of rural link roads as on 30.06.2002 was 42,000 km, prior to which about 6000 KM of link roads have been constructed under various schemes which is 1500 km, 3000 km, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna and various others schemes which are approved by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the Chairman of Punjab Mandi Board.

Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board raised a loan of about Rs. 89 crores, from the Oriental Bank of Commerce with a view of providing additional infrastructural facilities. The project includes 53 market committees which covers approximately 178 places in the state for development.

The Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojna, which was initiated in the year 2000 by the then Prime minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee who contributed in a large quantum towards upgrading of inter-village routes, and their maintenance, thereby improving the link roads in the state for marketing of food grains.

Numbers sourced from a statistical survey by www.agropedia.com, the total road network of the Punjab state is 47,605 km, out of which, 97% of the villages are connected by metal roads. All the cities and the major towns of the adjoining states are connected by National Highway. In contrast to metal roads, there are link roads carpeted for about 31,657 kms in the state.

The Shiromani Akali DalBJP led state government of Punjab, has been successful in providing a responsive government of dedicated politicians who can live up to the basic standards of a state, such as an efficient development in the infrastructure and the agricultural sector of the Punjab state. After all, Punjab – a state of about 27.98 million people cannot afford a perception that their state lacks of basic facilities such as link roads.

Regularisation of illegal colonies scheme

The Government of Punjab has in a very effective way brought relief to the residents of such colonies that were unauthorised. The scheme that lets regularisation of such colonies will also help the people of such areas receive basic amenities that were deprived off.

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Punjab government has taken into consideration the various unauthorised colonies that fall in the state for the betterment of the people living in such colonies whether individual owners or colonisers. The government has notified people of the state that a special provision in the Punjab laws has been enacted to provide people, residing in these areas with basic facilities.

The policy aims to bring all the illegal colonies and buildings in the state under planning framework. This would enable development in these areas, would make it easier for the resident of the places to attain basic services from the government and would improve the circulation patter of the streets.

Initially the date for submitting the applications was October 25, 2013 which was further extended to April 27, 2015 at first. Later on the date was extended by the government to February 5, 2016.

The so termed golden chance for regularising the unauthorised colonies that were constructed before April 1, 2013 is the last chance for all the owners of such plots or colonies. The residents of such areas thank the government for the policy. They believe that the initiative taken up by the government will help them get basic facilities in their locality.

The colonies that were constructed after August 2007 had to pay composition fee of 2 per cent of collector rate which could be a minimum of Rs. 1 lakh and a maximum of Rs. 5 lakh.

For the colonies constructed before August 17, 2007 the fee composition fee would be 0.5 per cent of the collector rate as on April 1, 2013. This would amount to a minimum of Rs. 25000 or a maximum of Rs. 1 lakh per acre.

The fee can be deposited in lump sum or in instalments however the government has decided to grant a rebate of 5% on lump sum payment.

In the initial stage the policy was started for a year that would be from April 17, 2013 to April 16, 2014. The government when received applicants more than expected, they decided to extend the time period. The colonies established under the rural areas are also to be covered in the scheme.

However, only the plots or buildings that fall under any unauthorised colony shall be regularised. Not otherwise. According to government statistics in 2013 there were around 5,500 illegal colonies.

These colonies that have cost the government huge amount of money are now being turned into regular lands. The government has looked at the scheme as a bilateral process. The people who lived in unauthorised colonies are now stepping into a safe future with regularisation of their land and the government which lost money when people occupied the lands in such a manner will get large amount of money through the process of regularisation.

Four-Laning Connecting Punjab Cities the Smart Way

Punjab government in a bid to make Punjab well connected through road has done major work of four laning of roads that link various cities. Currently around 405 Km of National highways are four lane roads. Rs. 3082 crore were set aside further for four laning of many more important roads in Punjab.

Four-Laning Connecting Punjab Cities the Smart Way

With the approval for four laning of six national highways in Punjab back in 2009 the roadways have changed drastically under the current government. The government in 2009 covered 475 km of roads with a cost of Rs 3,066 crore. The project took the time of two years.

Currently out of the 1739 Km of National Highway under the state of Punjab 405 Km are four lane roads, under the national highway development programme.

In 2013 the government further set aside Rs. 3,080 crore for the purpose of four and six laning of roads. The project is to be completed by this year. NH-15 from Pathankot to Amritsar and NH-95 from Ludhiana to Talwandi, NH-1A from Bhogpur to Mukerain and NH1 from Shambhu border to Jalandhar would be included in this project.

The cost of NH-1 would be around 263 crore, from Dhilwan to Amrtisar. Mukerain to pathankot cost around 300 crore and has been completed. The government seeks to attract more investors to the state and with world class connectivity of roads that won’t be difficult.

In 2009 when the government of Punjab under the leadership of CM Prakash Singh Badal, made certain their intention to make Punjab well connected by road he announced four laning of Chandigarh-ludhiana-ferozpur road which is the NH-95.

The Amritsar to Pathankot road had been waiting for approval of four laning and government cleared the project. This 1020 km long stretch was complete in Rs 800 crore by the NHAI.

The project of widening the national highway linking Batala bypass and Pathankot bypass has also been declared at a cost Rs. 10.38 crore. Four laning of Jahaz chowk and Old mandi chowk will also be done.

In February this year when Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal visted Ludhiana he made it clear that projects of four laned roads from Ludhiana to Samrala chowk on NH95 and Ladhowal bypass to NH-1 would also start soon. Rs. 1,238 have been set aside for the very purpose. Badal also assured the residents of Ludhiana that the work of Chandigarh-Ludhiana Expressway would start soon.

As the Road transport and Highway minstery comes under the belt of Deputy Chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal he has personally taken the task of making Punjab a well-connected state by roads. During the tenure of present government, the road network has taken a leap. Now Punjab and all its major cities are well connected through four laned roads or are being connected by four or six-laned roads. This for sure has been a great benefit for the people of Punjab and has increased the connectivity between

Drivers Training Institute: Honing driving Skills Effectively

The State Institute of Automotive and Driving Skills, Mahuana has been focusing on the importance of being attentive while driving, in contrast to explaining the technicalities about the vehicle for the driver to fix up, just in case he is struck somewhere.

Drivers Training Institute - Honing driving Skills Effectively - Parkash Singh Badal, Developing Punjab

The State Institute of Automotive and Driving skills (SIADS) is a joint venture of the Government of Punjab and Tata motors which focuses on providing driving training through a prescribed designing course content, technical assistance and know-how, guidance, vehicles and earth moving equipment, training aggregates and teaching aids.

It was inaugurated on 19th February 2010, by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Prakash Singh Badal and P M Telang, Managing director, India operations, Tata Motors Ltd. , Master Mohan Lal (Transport Minister of Punjab) and various other senior dignitaries were present at the inauguration ceremony.

It is situated on the Malout-Dabwali road (NH-10) at village Mahuana, in Shri Muktsar Sahib District of the Punjab state. The area covered under the State Institute of Automotive and driving skills is nearly 14 acres.

An amount of Rs. 15 crores is invested by the state government, with the motive of creating a modern complex, a computerized driving track and hostel facilities, apart from providing the land and infrastructure for the project. Tata Motors Ltd. has left no stone unturned, in terms of providing its contribution to SIADS. It has invested about Rs. 2.75 crores for the efficient functioning of the project.

The institute specializes in providing training to the drivers for both heavy and light commercial vehicles, buses, passenger cars, off the road (OTR) vehicles and earth moving equipments.

Welding (gas and electric), mechanic auto electrical and electronics, mechanic refrigeration and air conditioning, mechanic motor vehicle, mechanical diesel, mechanic electronics , driver-cum-mechanic LMV and driver-cum-mechanic HMV are also imparted technical training.

The driving tracks of the institute are well configured, spread over an area of 3.2 kilometers. The tracks are designed in a 4-lane straight road, over bridge, S- bend road, Curved road,  6 lane straight road, bus stop, round about junction, flyover, 8 type road and hill side bend along with petrol pump inclined parking. Such adequately designed tracks have been salutary in providing all the road conditions experienced by a driver under normal driving operations.

CM Prakash Singh Badal said that, “On completion of successful training in the respective trades, the students of this institute would be able to get suitable appointments with Tata Motors Ltd. and other reputed concerns, not only in India but abroad also.”

The youth of the state has been benefitted through the driving training institute, in terms of fetching good employment prospectives and efficient driving skills. Needless to say, this alliance of Tata Motors Ltd. and the Government of Punjab by setting up the State Institute of Automotive and driving skills has contributed fathomlessly to the development of the state.

Computerization of Transportation Department – Transforming Punjab into a global village

Information Technology (IT) has revolutionized the world in almost every field. The Government of Punjab is not at all lagging behind in the race of transforming the state into a global village.

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The department of transportation in Punjab state, functions under the provisions of section 213 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Transport Department was primarily established for enforcement of the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act,1988, Punjab Motor Vehicles Taxation Act,1924(Amended 1993)and the rules framed under these two Acts.

The Punjab Transport department, is seen to be beneficial in providing citizen centric services by the use of Information Technology. The revolutionary steps of initiating VAHAN and SARATHI, by the Transport department of Punjab state led to computerization of the department in terms of the managerial functions performed, about 10 years ago. Punjab is renowned to be the first state of the country to successfully implement Vahan and Sarathi application for registration of vehicles and issue of licenses across the state. Taking note of the public convenience and the vehicle population in the state of Punjab, there are about 22 DTO s and 52 SDM s distributed geographically.

The computerization of the department of Transport, Punjab was initiated in November 2003 with a visionary far sight of the government for the citizens living in rural and urban areas. The project mainly evolves around standardization of technologies and applications by MoRTH, Inter- operability of licenses and permits across the state, rolling out of common strategies throughout the state, implementation of Pilot site of Punjab to be done successfully, smart card implementation in progress at Pilot site in Mohali and initiation of the process for State wide Roll-out. In case any discrepancy arises in the particulars of a vehicle the owner can easily get it rectified by submitting an application to the concerned District Transport Officer.

All the operations related to registration of vehicles have been efficiently computerized by the transportation department of Punjab, in contrast to the implementation of e-governance system in the state. The major achievements of the government in computerization of the transport department include initiatives like, SUWIDHA web, Right to Service Information System (RTSIS) , Web-based counselling for PSBTE (Punjab State Technical Education Board ), Web-based counselling for PTU (Punjab Technical University) , Website based online Off- campus counselling for admission to ITI courses for the Department of Technical Education in 2013-2014 and GePNIC which stands for Government eProcurement software.

The Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, has always been conducive towards the needs of the citizens living in the rural and urban areas indiscriminately, which is clearly evident from the fact that the SAD-BJP led government has always been at the back of the Transportation Department for the implementation of various initiatives which help in marching ahead on the path of the revolutionary transformation of the state into a global village.