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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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.

Its time for up-gradation of schools

With the passing years, the education has come a long way in the state of Punjab, from what it was to what it is today; there is a lot of improvement in the same. The people of the state also now very well understand the meaning and essence of education in their lives, and hence want their kids to go to school.

To facilitate the same, the chief minister of the state, Parkash Singh Badal has recently agreed to approve the up-gradation of around 372 government high schools to the status of senior secondary schools and 162 government middle schools to the level of high schools. With this announcement, further up-gradation of facilities at the school will also be made to take them up to these levels.

Schools will be upgraded in different states of Punjab. Parminder Singh Dhindsa promised the Finance Minister of the state the upgrade during the budget speech this year. There are around 34 schools in Ludhiana that will be upgraded and on the other hand, Amritsar and Barnala have 25 and 11 schools respectively as a part of this up-gradation plan. 24 schools each in Jalandhar and Patiala will also be upgraded to the next level. Pathankot, Ferozepur, Tarn Taran, Fatehgarh Sahib, SAS Nagar, Ropar and Muktsar are a few more places amongst others where schools have been chosen to be upgraded.

On the other hand, the colleges have also got their share of up-gradation as a new boys hostel has been recently inaugurated at the Guru Nanak Dev University. Smriti Zubin Irani, the minister of Human Resource Development, inaugurated it digitally. The hostel has been constructed at a cost of around Rs. 3.5 crores under the Rashtriya Ucch Shiksha Abhiyan. During her video conferencing, Smriti Irani also mentioned about the education plans in the state, which focused on the issues of excellence in education in all parts of Punjab and equality as well as access to education in all parts of the state.

The hostel was very much required at the university, as more and more students from different parts of the country are coming for their higher studies to various universities of Punjab, specifically the Guru Nanak Dev University. It will help the university in providing better facilities to students coming from other states for their education. The government should take up such steps of up-gradation and providing better facilities regularly, to offer better education to the students.

Punjab leads other states in Textile and Hosiery production

Having an industrial promotion and growth index of 1.8 per cent which is far better than what the nation averages, Punjab leads India in textile industry. With incentives provided by the government for people wishing to enter the industry and to those already in it Punjab has risen to be the best among all.

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Punjab has been called by many as one of the richest states in India, and all this is due to the ability of the people and their hardworking attitude. Be it agriculture or Industry sector, Punjab has seen the top of it all it still continues to rise not just in the nation but beyond it. Soon Punjab will be known for its textile and Hosiery manufacturing industry. Punjab not just owns the Textile industry, Cycle and Tractor production in Punjab is more than any other state in the nation.

The people take initiative here in Punjab and along with incentives from the state government under Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and BJP alliance the state has seen its rise.

Additional chief secretary Industry and Commerce rightly said that Entrepreneurship runs in the blood if Punjabis, and it is this zeal that has now led it to certain heights on the national stage. Manufacturing is done at its best and on the largest scale in the state of Punjab. With efficient labour and machinery Punjab has given itself the edge over other states. Spinning and Hosiery exports are other key elements which make it able for Punjab to top the nation in Textile based industry.

Weaving sector now gets six per cent interest rate rising from the previous five per cent one. Developments in apparel parks along with positive textile policy the state offers various opportunities for investment. It has been recorded that the Average gross Domestic Product of Punjab was around 50.9 Billion USD and a major role here is played by Textile industry alongside Agro based industry.

Yarn, Readymade garments and Hosiery are other emerging segments of the industry. Punjab is a key producer of light engineering goods, automotive components and textiles too. The state of Punjab is above all other states in the industrial promotion growth index, which can be made sure by having a look at the 1.8 per cent of index of industrial growth in Punjab. The national level witnessed just (-) 0.7 per cent.

Textile industry has flourished so in the state, providing employment to many. The incentives by the state government and the centre have been a great reason for the rise of the industry in Punjab. The credit also goes to the skills of the people who have worked towards attaining success in this field.

Ludhiana takes credit for all the industrial growth in the nation, Hosiery and readymade garments are produced here. Ludhiana is the largest exporter of hosiery items in India. These are not just exported to other states of India but also exported abroad. Oswal group in Ludhiana manufactures top brands like Monte Carlo and also garments.

Even the Textiles and Yarn Industry take house in the Ludhiana. Vardhman group is the largest contributor here.  JCT fabrics id produces in Phagwara city and Barnala is home to the Trident group, one the very eminent textile manufacturers.

Kabaddi – the true essence of Punjab

Kabaddi, the contact sport of ancient India encompasses the true essence of the state of Punjab. Kabaddi is basically derived from a Tamil word “Kai-pidi” which means ‘to hold hands’. The notable competitions of the contact sport includes Asian games, Asia Kabaddi Cup, World Kabaddi League, Women’s World Cup, Pro Kabaddi League, UK Kabaddi Cup and the very prominent Kabaddi World Cup. As the Kabaddi World Cup, 2016 comes closer the players and the lovers of the game all gear up their backpacks to watch the thrilling matches.

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Kabaddi World Cup was first played in the year of 2004, followed by 2007. Witnessing the high level of adrenaline rush among the spectators and the players from across the globe, the Kabaddi World Cup is being hosted every year since 2010. There are primarily four major forms of Kabaddi being played in India, which are recognized by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India. The four forms include Sanjeevani Kabaddi, Gaminee Kabaddi, Amar Style Kabaddi and Punjabi Kabaddi.

The Kabaddi World Cup is played in the Punjabi circle style in which Kabaddi is being played on a circular pitch of a diameter of 22 meters and an inner circle with a line through the middle of the pitch, which is called as “Kaudi da bharha”. In the Punjabi circle style Kabaddi there are two teams of 8 players in which one is on one raid, and none of the player leaves the field. If two stoppers attack a player, it is declares as a foul. The Punjab style Kabaddi does not require the raider saying “Kabaddi – Kabaddi” throughout the raid. The game normally lasts for 40 minutes with a change in sides after 20 minutes. The contact game is also played on a time basis, in which the time is 30 sec. However, in the Punjab Circle Style form of Kabaddi, whenever any player is touched (out), he/she is not required to go out of the court, rather he/she stays inside, and one point is awarded to the team that touched him.

The fifth edition of the circle style Kabaddi World Cup took place in the year 2014 from 7th December – 20th December in Punjab. The 12 – day long event witnessed 11 nations to be the participants in the men’s tournament, and 8 nations participating in the women’s tournament. The sixth edition of the circle style Kabaddi World Cup, shall take place lately this year. The precise schedule of the World Cup shall be out by October 2016, under the proficient surveillance of the deputy chief minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal. The upcoming Kabaddi World Cup shall undoubtedly be a mega – event.

India has been the proud winner of 10 gold medals in Kabaddi World Cup, in the both men’s and women’s category ever since it was initiated. The secret behind this perpetual success lies in the unconditional support of the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government, and the constant and staunch hard work of the Indian Kabaddi players.

More tubewell connections bring cheer to farmers in Punjab

Realising the growing need of irrigation amongst the small and marginal farmers in the state, Punjab government has decided to give over 1.5 lakh tubewell connections to farmers after notifying a new agriculture policy. The process to release the new connections has already begun.

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The decision comes in the backdrop of National Green Tribunal allowing Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to process applications of farmers who had applied for power connections to set up new tubewell power connections.  While allowing the release of new connections, the National Green Tribunal had directed the state government to first formulate a policy for release of connections in an organised and systematic way.

In fact the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal had earlier too had maintained that the small and marginal farmers would be given new tubewell power connections all over the state on priority.

“With the passionate efforts of Punjab government, the National Green Tribunal has lifted the ban on release of tubewell connections in Punjab. I appeal to all tubewell applicant farmers of Punjab whose demand notices have already been issued, to deposit the requisite amount in the concerned Sub Division Office of PSPCL and avail this golden opportunity to get their tubewell connections and be part of the progress in Punjab and contribute to the development of the state,” deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said, while making this announcement.

Keeping in view the concerns regarding depleting ground water in many parts of the state, the government has ensured that the new connections were released while keeping in consideration over-exploited and the safe areas with regard to groundwater levels.

The availability is being backed with the adequate power supply for irrigation so that the farmers can avail benefits.

Who are eligible

The applicants having land between 1 to 2.5 acre who have registered their applications from January 1,2014 to March 15, 2016 would be eligible for new tubewell power connections.

The eligible applicants have to submit their option for priority tubewell power connection to the concerned Sub Division Office of PSPCL on a plain paper by April 30,2016.

Earlier Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had asked power utility Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) to formulate a new policy to grant fresh tubewell power connections to the marginal and small farmers for the current fiscal, realising that they would require facility in a major way.

Badal has been reiterating that the Punjab government was committed for the welfare of farmers, who were already facing a lot of hardships due to squeezed margins on account of non-remunerative MSP and have been finding it hard to pay their debts.
Giving much needed relief to the farmers, the state government earlier has also reimbursed PSPCL the pending arrears of Rs 357 crore on account of tubewell bills, concerning the period when tariff was imposed on farm sector. PSPCL had taken off these arrears from the accounts of the farmers concerned.

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.