Right to Services Act, a great step towards Citizen Empowerment

SAD – BJP (Shiromani Akali Dal- Bhartiya Janta Party), the state government of Punjab has been making its sincere efforts to fulfill the motive of Right to Service Act, which was implemented in the year 2011. The state government has always been focused on the agenda to put service beyond duty.

On 19th October, 2011, the state government of Punjab gave its agreement on the RTS Act (Right to Service Act). The primary motive of RTS Act is to make the delivery of government services to the people of Punjab in the easiest and smooth manner. Also, it was enacted to make sure that the services are delivered within specified set of time span to Punjab’s people. The Punjab RTS Act also ensures the proper and better execution of the services.

Following are the steps/procedure that is followed in the Punjab RTS Act, (as stated in the Information Handbook, under the RTS Act)–

  • Commission will arrange meetings after specified intervals of time to take important decisions.
  • The functioning of Commission will be monitored/supervised by the directions of the Chief Commissioner.
  • Any revision or complaint can be considered or decided by the commission from time to time.
  • Though, the final decision making authority lies in the hands of the Chief Commissioner.

Efficiently providing the effective services within the specified time frame, this Punjab Right to Service Act has been proved to be highly beneficial for the promotion of transparency and accountability in the operation of the government departments, which provide the services to the people of Punjab.

To make sure the timely delivery of services and making suggestions to Punjab government, a Punjab Right to Service Commission has been set up. It also ensures the accurate execution of the Punjab Right to Service Act. Apart from being the leading state to implement this Act, 7.21 Crore people have been benefited from the same. As per the official spokesperson’s claim, around 28, 37,866 applicants have taken the advantage of the notified services during the month of February under the mentioned Act. Also, only 14,160 are the pending applications which are to be cleared as soon as possible.

In addition to this, we can say that the implementation of The Punjab Right to Service Act has been successful in gaining the trust of citizens and it has also empowered the people of Punjab in the most efficient manner possible.

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Bathinda, ready to avoid Dengue this year

Dengue has been spreading across the state of Punjab since a long time and it has affected the people of the state at a large scale. This year the Health Department is trying its best to avoid the state from being affected with this dangerous disease. For the same, they are taking the required precautions and even checking in every possible place, where Dengue could have set its mark.

They have been carrying out door-to-door campaigns in most of the places of Punjab, so that people are well aware of the precautions and symptoms of Dengue, so that it can be avoided from spreading around the whole place. The Gambusia fish is one such specie that eats up the larva spread around by the dengue mosquitoes and other such vector-borne mosquitoes. The Health Department of Punjab is multiplying the number of these fishes in all parts of the state, so that even if the larva is born, the fishes can eat it up and avoid from spreading. The department has dispersed these fishes in areas like ponds and other water areas where the water remains stagnant; it has significantly been placed on the outskirts of the Civil Hospital. Carrying out its awareness drive, the department has covered almost all the areas of Bathinda, which includes more than 60, 000 households in 50 wards of the city.

Fridays in Bathinda are known as Dry Days for the occasion to spread awareness amongst the residents to keep their surroundings clean and to make it a point to keep their refrigerators, Air Conditioners, Coolers clean and dry. This is an interesting way to make the residents wash and dry up their house once every week, so that the mosquitoes don’t get an opportunity to create larva and breed. Bathinda was one of those places of Punjab where Dengue was reported in the highest number last year. This is the reason why the health department is focusing most on this part of Punjab, so that what happened earlier, shouldn’t happen again. A number of people lost their lives due to this disease and they are now more than ready to create a healthy environment around them, so that Dengue doesn’t spread around the place this year or anytime further. There were around 2, 017 cases reported in Bathinda last year. The hospitals are also now more aware and equipped as compared to last year to handle the patients, if Dengue affects the city.

Punjab selling High-powered tractors in huge numbers

The base of Punjab’s culture and heritage is farming; this is so because it has the highest amount of agriculture land. People in Punjab have been in the industry of farming since several generations and are carrying it forward today as well. In terms of technology, farming has come a long way in India, from what it used to be. With better technology, farmers in India can now irrigate large amount of land and get huge quantity of crops in less time and by putting in lesser efforts.

When it comes to farming, another thing that Punjab relates to, are its tractors. It has been using tractors since decades and has the best technology available in the country. The farmers have recently started using high-powered tractors and they are sold in the largest numbers in the state. On an average, in the whole country they are sold only 7-8 percent of the total number of tractors sold. But when we talk about Punjab alone, it sells around 30 percent of High-powered tractors, out of the total number of tractors sold.

These tractors are expensive, as they are priced at Rs. 6 lakh and above, still the state and its farmers are capable enough to afford this high technology and useful tractors, so that they can reap better produce. When the sale of these tractors is seen, Punjab has been topping the list since the year 2014 and it is followed by states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The difference of number of tractors sold in Punjab in comparison to Uttar Pradesh and Haryana was around 2, 000 tractors in the year 2014-15. In the year 2015-16, the difference has lowered down to around 1, 000 in Uttar Pradesh and 2, 000 in Haryana.

There are various factors behind the increasing sale of these tractors in Punjab, but the major reasons is the possibility of multiple usages that these tractors are capable of. Also, the progressive farmers are doing so good that they can easily afford these tractors at this rate, so they would definitely prefer to go for better technology. These tractors help in completing the land operations in much lesser time in comparison to others, so the farmers can make full use of the small amount of time between two crops. Owning these tractors is also a sign of high standards for the farmers in the state, so to maintain they high status, they prefer going for these tractors in comparison to others.

Chandigarh gets a dose of Haryanavi culture

Every region in the country has its own folk beauty, which is depicted through their food, dance and cultural activities; similarly Haryana also has a very beautiful folk culture that was recently depicted at the Saang Festival at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh, Sector 18. This eight-day long festival had a number of activities for the audience with performances from different cultures and segments of the society.

The folk culture of Haryana has been evolving manifold since long time and has been depicting its different beautiful colours in various forms. Dance performance was a delight for the Haryanvi audience at the Saang Festival, as it was a beautiful compilation of steps and music. Contributing further, Raagnis were also performed at the stage of the Saang festival along with the humorous performances of the Haryanavis, which are a delight to attend. People of Chandigarh are treated with Raagnis and HaryanaviSaang twice every year, as the Department of Culture Affairs, Haryana organize such festivals on regular basis, so that people can stay in touch with the roots of Haryana.

The Haryanavi Saang Utsav was not only attended by the natives of Haryana but a number of locals of Punjab from Chandigarh and other nearby areas joined in the fun. A very well staged play was performed at the festival at Tagore Theatre, titled, ‘Roop Kala Jadookhori’. Giving out a well-said social message and a moral meaning to the evening, the play was appreciated by audience for its script as well as performance of the participants. The play was the mastermind of Ram Kishan and Ram Sharan, where the former is the writer of the play and the latter is the director. It very well depicted the issue of child-marriage and black magic, two issues, which are widely spreading in the state of Haryana.

The whole stage and the ambience of the theatre was such beautifully decorated that one could feel the beauty of Haryana in the same. The cultural officer of Haryana, Shiv Kumar, welcomed the audience and the chief guest of the evening was the MLA of Ambala, AssemGoyal. The next day the saang was depicted on Ban Devi.

Such multi-cultural events should more often happen in all parts of the country, where cultures of different states are depicted, so that people from all parts of India, can feel connected to every part of their motherland.

Its time to make the citizens feel safe – ‘Amritsar Speaks’

Rising rates of crime in any state is a sign of destruction and disturbance for the citizens. Punjab has recently seen an increase in the crime rates in different parts of the state because of some unruly elements of the society. The government is trying its best to curb such negative activities and help citizens lead a peaceful life. Amritsar is one of those states that are facing a high rate of increase in the crime scene and therefore various Non-Government Organizations of the city have come together to raise their voices against the same.

Naming their banner as ‘Amritsar Speaks’, they are trying to raise their voice against the crime and spread awareness amidst the citizens to help the government and the authorities in the best possible way to curb the nuisances. An NGO by the name of Mission Aagaaz was also a part of this group and one of their members mentioned that the crime rate has been increasing in the state since last many years and it is the need of the hour to curb the same.

Amidst the discussions, various people were of the view that it is the easy access of money to the youngsters and the issue of drug addiction that is resulting in the increase of these unruly activities. Various anti-social elements are influencing the youth of the state to get into such activities and destroying their future the government is coming up various inspirational campaigns and laws and regulations to inspire the young guns of the society to get back on the right track and stop destroying the decorum of the society.

Along with the government and the authorities, it is also the responsibility of the residents to help them in solving out the cases and provide with the required information. It is the terror of such anti-social groups due to which the residents don’t speak out much and are living in a constant state of fear and terror. Various surveillance plans have been worked out by the government to help in keeping a check on the theft accidents happening around various cities of Punjab. The surveillance department can help in creating a feeling of security amongst the residents and catch the thieves around the area.

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.

Women artists from Amritsar exhibit at Gaiety theatre

10 women artists, hailing from the holy city of Amritsar, are all set to put up an exhibition of their work at Shimla’s historic Gaiety theatre, displaying 50 art works including sculptures and paintings over a span of three days beginning June 13.Working tirelessly and reaching out to people with their art visibility and acclaim, the all-women group consists of women from all ages, with the youngest member of the group being 17 and the oldest one being 47, the creative diversity reflecting in their work is refreshing.

Their last exhibition at Shimla was successful as many of the paintings got sold and over 500 visitors registered every day. This year, they have creating artwork in mix medium, especially for the show.The group indulges in a lot of touring as they realize that not many can walk into galleries and understand art, especially in such small cities where there is lack of knowledge and sensitivity towards art. Therefore, these groups like to move around a lot and bring art to those who will be able to appreciate and celebrate it.

The group brings together women artists with same thought process and commitment towards not just creating art but promoting it as well, boasts of senior artists like Varuna Khanna and Saroj Sharma.According to Gursharan Kaur, 28, young artist from the city and a member of the Women Artist group, this year they have created art that revolves around sensitive but themes and issues, but important nevertheless, like gender-based issues, women empowerment and equality, spirituality, experimenting with different media in their genre.Even though promoters are hard to find, lack of sponsorships has never been an issue with them, as there are six artists in the group, who excel in both painting and sculpture making and there are no other women artist groups in the city.

Flaunting about their group shows in Dharamsala, Jalandhar and Delhi that got a tremendous response, getting the right price for their art is one of the biggest motivators for these women artists to go for art shows outside Amritsar.The expenses of touring do not bother them, as they always knew that they would have to support themselves before getting their work noticed. Focusing on doing the right work, the artists claim that that they have managed to get a bigger audience and potential market for their artwork outside of city.

According to Bharti Malhotra, who is famous for her sculptures and Tanjore paintings, said that last year they had managed to sell some of their works for Rs 25,000 each, which is quite encouraging, given the fact that Amritsar shows always lack buyers.The group comprises Aakarshi Sahni, Bharti Malhotra, Gursharn Kaur, Inderpreet Kaur, Saroj Sharma and Teena Sharma among others.