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.

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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.

Installation of Reverse Osmosis, give way to pure water in Punjab

With two – third of the earth’s surface covered by water and being one of the most essential component of life, water plays a very important role in the society. Keeping in view the same, the government of Punjab has been conducive towards the dire need of the residents to have purified water consumption, which is clearly evident by its initiative of installation of Reverse Osmosis in both the urban as well as the rural areas of the state.

Installation of Reverse Osmosis, give way to pure water in PunjabReverse Osmosis is a process in which a solvent passes through a porous membrane in the direction opposite to that for natural osmosis when subjected to a hydrostatic pressure greater than the osmotic pressure. In simple words, Reverse Osmosis purification systems are used for filtering the dissolved minerals and other contaminants of water.

The Reverse Osmosis Plants are being installed in the rural areas of Punjab, where dissolved solids (TDS), uranium, fluoride and hardness of water was found to be beyond the permissible limits. The installation of reverse osmosis plants is catering to the needs of the people living in rural areas, with the provision of clean and treated water for cooking and drinking purposes.

The Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government had installed approximately 1811 reverse osmosis plants during March 2009 – December 2012 in about 16 districts of the Punjab state under various projects such as the Punjab Nirman Programme, additional central assistance of Rs25 crore, and the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB). Punjab being a state where about 327 villages were identified to have total dissolved solids (TDS) in the ground water more than the prescribed desired limit of 500 particles per million (PPM), The Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) approved the installation of reverse osmosis plants in about 573 villages in Punjab, back in the year 2013.

The initiative was accomplished with the installation of 1508 reverse osmosis plants at a cost of Rs 188.59 crore, in the rural areas of the state some of which include 271 RO plants in Bathinda, 39 in Ludhiana, 178 in Firozpur, 186 in Moga, 66 in Tarn Taran, 293 in Fazlika, 13 in Kapurthala, 13 in Barnala, 2 in Fatehgarh Sahib and installation of 72 reverse osmosis plants at Sangrur.

Punjab government’s Higher Education, Water Supply & Sanitation Minister, Surjit Singh Rakhra while exclaiming about the augmenting education sector of the state, appreciated the responsive government of Punjab for the efficient provisions of potable drinking water and toilets to all households in the state. He further expressed his gratitude on the installation of reverse osmosis systems in the villages and also appealed to the panchayat’s and people that they should consume only reverse osmosis (RO) system water because it is very clean and hygienic.

Needless to say, the expenditure incurred by the state government for the installation of reverse osmosis plants in the rural areas is definitely a productive investment in terms of good health of the people living in the rural areas.

Chhota Ghallughara: Memorial of Courage

Built in a 10 acre campus the Chhota Ghallughara is a memorial to those brave Sikh men who lost their lives to the Mughal army in 1746. The government made the Rs. 12 crore campus to serve the memory of those men and also to keep alive the rich heritage of the state and Sikh people.

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Punjab has been a land of many great leaders, revolutionaries and also martyrs, we have had people like the great Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his General Hari Singh Nalwa. The list carries on till the time of freedom struggle that saw the likes of Bhagat Singh rise to the occasion. Punjab has seen many battles. There have been times in the past when the Sikhs came into grave danger of being killed all at once, one such occasion was the time when the Mughals went to take revenge of the death of Jaspat Rai and in turn massacred the Sikhs.

To glorify the sacrifice of those brave heart Sikh warriors who lost their lives in the battle, the government of Punjab has made a memorial. Standing in Kahnuwan Chhamb in the district of gurdaspur the monument has been linked to the suffrage of the people.

Spread in about 10 acres the monument was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal. The inauguration took place in November 2011. It is to remember the great warriors who fought the battle for more than two months. It is believed that around 11,000 people lost their lives during that time.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal made the announcement of opening Chhota Ghallughara memorial while he was at the opening of the Khalsa Heritage Complex, which has been dedicated to gurus.

Shiromani Akali Dal led government in the state did open the memorial centre shortly after. Spread in over 10 acre campus, has a 100 feet tall minar (tower). The memorial serves the memory of around 11,000 warriors and has a few buildings inside. This will work as a great way for letting the youth know the history of the state and about its great Sikhs.

It was a battle that was initiated by Lakhpat Rai who was the revenue minister of the Mughal Empire in 1746. To avenge the death of his brother, Jaspat Rai the former declared that he would not rest his head until he scourged the entire Sikh panth out of existence.

Lakhpat Rai took the help of the Mughal emperor in Lahore and summoned leaders from Multan, Bahawalpur and Jalandhar. All the Sikhs in Lahore were killed by Lakhpat Rai and then he went on to search for Sikhs who had reportedly taken shelter in the forest of Kahnuvan. The Sikh men gave a brilliant fight to the army of Lakhpat Rai.

Government’s idea of making a memorial shows their affection towards the rich history of the state and it gives tales of all the great men that have been born in Punjab. It shows how the SAD and BJP led government vales the sentiments of the people and cares for the rich history of the state.

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.

Free Power makes Poor Power-ful in Punjab

Punjab has always tried to provide subsidies to those who have been in the need of it. Be it farmers or the poor BPL residents of the state. The Cabinet in December of 2011 decided to give away 200 units of free electricity for domestic consumption every month to SC and BPL households. The Sukhbir Kalia committee did recommend the state government to do otherwise but the government gave importance to the needs of the poor people of the state.

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In providing free 200 units of power to the poor of the state the government in 2013 took a burden of Rs. 829.29 crore. Meanwhile by providing subsidy to farmers for using pumps and other machines the load on the government came to be Rs. 4,778.13 crores in 2013-14.

The State electricity board that provides these power units to the farmers and the SC and BPL families every month is paid out in full by the state government.

Punjab state electricity board has grown in large numbers since the SAD-BJP led government came to power. The connection of electricity in the state before the government led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal came up there were less than 6800000 connections and in the year 2014-15 the total connections in the state have been recorded at 8329976. Of these 6974504 are connections in general households. Considerable increase in the connections in poor households has been seen in the past few years. This has been due to the allocation of the free 2000 units of power per month.

The energy growth of the state has also seen a rise in the past few years. In the year 2014-15 according to state electricity board stats 46034.90 net energy units of power were generated.

Providing free 200 units of power to the poor is one of the many pro-poor schemes started by the Punjab government. A few of them include Atta-dal scheme for BPL card holders, regulation of unauthorised societies and 5 marla plots for housing scheme.

The announcement of providing 200 units of electricity was even made by the INC government in the past but the delivery was made sure by SAD and BJP led government. The INC government approved the scheme for just one year.

This benefit is being availed by nearly 18 Lakh families as of now in the state. The subsidy by the government in the state has played a key role in helping the SC and BPL families. Now that Punjab has been producing more units of energy to distribute providing 200 free units of powers works in everyone’s interest the major thing to take note being that the government has maintained its Pro poor stand and acted in their favour.

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.