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Punjab Govt fully committed to bridge the gap between the privileged and the marginalised: Governor

Chandigarh, March 1, 2024 (Yes Punjab News)

Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit on Friday reiterated the firm commitment of the state government to bridge the gap between the privileged and the marginalized, to ensure that the fruits of development reach every section of society.

In his address during the sixth session of 16th Punjab Vidhan Sabha, the Governor said that the journey of Punjab, our vibrant state, is intertwined with the indomitable spirit of its people, who have time and again demonstrated resilience, determination, and a relentless pursuit of progress.

He said that today it is imperative for us to acknowledge the challenges that confront us and chart a course towards a future that is defined by prosperity, inclusivity and sustainable development.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that one of the foremost priorities of my Government is to foster an environment of inclusive growth, where every citizen of Punjab has equal opportunities to thrive and prosper.

The Governor said that his Government has successfully launched the last mile delivery of ration to every household in Punjab under the scheme Ghar Ghar Muft Ration. He said that the state government has launched several groundbreaking schemes in the important sectors of Health and Education.

He said that 664 Aam Aadmi Clinics are successfully operational throughout the state of Punjab adding that a total of 1.07 crores of people have visited the clinics to seek the medical treatment.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that Medicines worth Rs. 450 crores at the prevailing market rates and diagnostic tests worth Rs. 70 crores have been provided to the patients at these clinics.

The Governor said that the state government is committed to provide free medicines to all the patients in Government Hospitals adding that this year, medicines worth Rs. 222 crore have been purchased for supply of free medicines in Government Hospitals.

He said that the state Government is committed to provide X-rays and Ultrasound facility in all the District Hospitals, Sub-Divisional Hospitals and Community Health Centres. Banwari Lal Purohit said that a comprehensive plan has been made for the upgradation of buildings of all the District Hospitals over the next three years.

The Governor further said that his Government has started “Punjab Sikhya Kranti” to improve infrastructure in all Government schools adding that as a part of this campaign work on building boundary walls in 7082 schools has started and out of these 1429 schools are getting boundary walls for the first time.

He said that till now 12126 schools have received internet connection, 4369 toilets in the schools have been repaired and In addition to that 95,000 dual desks are being provided to government schools.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that state Government is committed to make 118 Government Senior Secondary Schools as Schools of Eminence adding that these schools will be equipped with smart classrooms, fully equipped labs and playgrounds for scientific learning.

The Governor said that with all these efforts the enrollment in government schools has been increased by around 17% in Pre- primary classes.

He said that state Government has ensured to make canal water available to farmers at the tail ends who were deprived of canal water for years.

He said that during this year, utilization of canal water has increased by more than 38% during the period when there was peak demand of water adding that this was made possible due to the timely cleaning of the canals and the daily monitoring of canals with the help of technology.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that 45 canals with an approximate length of 400 kilometres, which were lying abandoned, were made functional and than 1000 kilometres of canal were concrete-lined for the first time adding that 14100 water courses which were lying idle for the last more than 30 years have also been restored.

The Governor said that he is happy to inform that with the consistent efforts

and monitoring by my government, the Shahpurkandi Dam Project which was pending for execution for more than 25 years, is seeing the light of the day at last and filling of water in the reservoir of the dam has been started.

He said that this will help the State to stop any water going downstream to Pakistan and will also create an irrigation potential of more than 37,000 hectare and will help in creating an additional power of 206 megawatt.

Banwari Lal Purohit further said that the dam will create new tourism potential creating employment opportunities for the state.

The Governor said that state Government is fully aware of the declining groundwater table in the State.

He said that in many districts the groundwater is declining at an alarming rate.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that to arrest this declining trend, canal water is being used to recharge the ground water and for this purpose 129 recharge sites have already been constructed just in one year.

The Governor said that state Government has acquired a private thermal plant GVK Goindwal Sahib of 540 MW capacity at a very low cost which is history in itself by any state Government.

He said that this plant has been acquired at a cost of Rs.1080 Crores i.e. Rs.2 Crore per MW whereas a new thermal plant costs Rs. 8.5 Crore/ MW.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that after Acquisition this plant has been renamed as Guru Amardas Thermal Plant adding that with the use of Coal from Punjab’s own Pachhwara Coal Mine, the generation from this plant will increase by more than double.

The Governor said that there will be saving of about Rs. 350 Crores per Year in terms of Power Purchase cost. He said that during 2023-24 Punjab has met its all time highest ever peak demand of 15,325 Megawatts on June 23, 2023.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that his Government has implemented a free electricity scheme of 300 units monthly to domestic consumers since July 2022 adding that this has benefited around 70 Lacs i.e. 90% of households, receiving zero bills in a billing cycle.

The Governor said that state Government has launched a new scheme namely Door-Step Delivery of Services under “Bhagwant Mann Sarkar TuhadeDwar” to provide services to the citizens at their door-step on demand.

He said that Under the scheme, 43 citizen services were identified which constitute more than 99% of the volume of the transactions adding that more than 15,000 citizens have availed the services till date.

Similarly Banwari Lal Purohit said that another scheme namely AAP ki Sarkar AAP De Dwar, under which camps are being held all over the State to provide services to the citizens in their village has been launched adding that than 8 lakh citizens have already visited the camps and have taken the benefit of the availability of services at their places of residence.

The Governor said that state Government is committed to providing a boost to the investment and industrial infrastructure in the State. He said that with its earnest efforts, my Government has received 4242 investment proposals with proposed investment of about Rs. 65,993 Crores with the proposed employment of about 3,20,882.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that state Government have also introduced Green stamp paper in the registration of sale deed to ensure faster and smooth issuance of regulatory clearances to industry projects.

The Governor said that in last one year, my Government has given job/self employment facility to 1,11,810 candidates through 1,332 placement camps/job fairs/self-employment camps.

He said that the state government has set up 25 new Government Industrial Training Institutes in the State adding that with the opening of these new ITIs about 8000 youth of the State will get benefits.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that Continuing the endeavour of providing government jobs on merit to deserving candidates, my Government has ensured fairness in recruitment while also ensuring efficiency adding that more than 40,000 jobs have been given so far to youth of the state.

The Governor said that state Government is committed to provide safe drinking water to every rural household in Punjab.

He said that in April 2023, Punjab became the fifth state in the country to achieve 100 percent coverage in providing Functional Household Tap Connection to every rural household.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that the focus, in recent years has been to use surface water instead of ground water, particularly in areas affected with geological contaminants such as Arsenic, Floride and Iron.

The Governor said that state Government has increased maintenance monthly grant of Blue Star affected Dharmifauji from Rs.10,000 to Rs. 12,000. Likewise he said that Ex-Gratia to the Defence/Para Military Personnel who are disabled during performance of their bonafide official duties in War/Operations has been doubled depending upon the disability.

Similarly Banwari Lal Purohit said that the state Government has increased financial assistance to the beneficiaries of War Jagir from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 annually.

The Governor said that state Government had notified State’s new Sports Policy in 2023 to restore Punjab’s glory in the field of sports adding that under the new Sports Policy for the first time, a sum of Rs. 4.59 crore was given in advance as preparation grant to 58 sportspersons from state, selected to represent the country in the Asian Games.

He said that For the first time, players from Punjab bagged 20 medals in the Asian Games, which is the highest medal tally since Asian Games started in 1951 adding that they were given cash reward of Rs. 29.25 crore without delay.

The Governor said that the state government has also given cash reward of Rs 4.58 cr to 136 players from state who won medals in National Games 2023 held at Goa.

He said that to recognise achievement of 9 players from state who won Bronze Medal in Hockey in the Tokyo Olympics 2021, after 4 decades, one cricketer and one athlete my Government appointed 7 players to PPS and 4 to PCS recently.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that Government had taken the initiative of starting Khedan Watan Punjab Diyan which saw a participation of 4.5 lac children, youth and veteran players in Second season.

The Governor said that state Government has been instrumental in acquiring 40 acres land costing Rs 16 crore at Adampur for construction of state-of -the art Civil Air Terminal by Airport Authority of India at Cost of Rs. 110.00 Crore.

He said that Addtionally my government has invested Rs. 41.40 crore in providing essential allied infrastructure, showcasing commitment to robust development.

Banwari Lal Purohit also lauded the positive impact of state government in allocating 135.54 acres in Ludhiana for an International Civil Air Terminal at Halwara.

The Governor said that as promised by his Government, the drive to eradicate corruption continued with increasing pace.

He said that in order to ensure transparent governance, my Government has adopted a Zero Tolerance Policy towards corruption.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that State Vigilance Bureau, Punjab during the period from 16-03-2022 to 08-01-2024 has registered 195 trap cases against 23 Gazetted Officers, 193 Non-Gazetted Officers and 55 private persons who were caught red handed while accepting illegal gratification adding that 241 criminal cases were registered in which 82 Gazetted Officers, 269 Non Gazetted Officers and 300 Private Persons were involved.

The Governor said that the state Government has launched the first of its kind initiative in the country, a dedicated Sadak Surakhiya Force to ensure enhanced security and to save precious lives on the State and National Highways.

He said that Specially trained, freshly recruited 1597 personnel are to act as the back bone to this force, who have been provided with latest, fully equipped 144 vehicles.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that the force has been deployed all along 4200 km of the Highways, prone to traffic accidents adding that in addition to patrolling in the assigned areas, they act as a deterrent for traffic violations and more.

The Governor said that state Government has notified FARISHTEY scheme, in order to save the life and limb of accident victims and go encourage the general public for their hassle-free participation towards helping the accidental victims.

He said that state Government will offer a financial reward of Rs. 2000/- to commend their noble deeds. Banwari Lal Purohit said that Apart from financial reward, a certificate will be issued to such persons and they have been provided immunity from legal complications and police inquiries.

The Governor said that Law and Order situation in Punjab is improving day by day and Punjab Police has started various initiatives in this regard.

He said that some of the prominent moves include the launching of Anti Gangster Task Force (AGTF) and PGD Portal.

AGTF has spearheaded dedicated operations against gangsters and criminals in the state and other parts of the country, leading to the arrest of several wanted gangsters and criminals and busting various gangster modules along with recovery of huge cache of arms and ammunitions.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that till date, AGTF along with other field units has succeeded in arresting 951 gangsters/ criminals, neutralisation of 14 gangsters, busting 312 modules, recovering 963 weapons and 208 vehicles used in criminal activities.

The Governor said that Punjab Police have arrested as many as 25,385 drug smugglers after registering 18,953 FIRs since March 16, 2022, and recovered 1860 Kg Heroin from across the state.

He said that additionally, 147 Kg heroin was recovered by the teams of Punjab Police from Seaports of Gujarat and Maharashtra, taking the total effective recovery of heroin to 2007 Kgs.

He said that apart from this, Police have also recovered 1247 Kg opium,1229 Kg Ganja, 604 quintals of poppy husk, and 1.12 crore tablets/ capsules/injections/vials of Pharma opioids from across the state.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that 355 properties of drug smugglers, worth Rs. 142 crores have been approved by the competent authority for freezing.

The Governor said that recognising consistent contribution of the State towards the central pool during the Financial Year 2022-23 to the extent of 21.40% in paddy and 46.24% in wheat, my Government has taken initiatives to ensure similar success in other crops also.

He said that the focus area for diversification of crops in the state has been to shift to those alternate crops which are much less water consuming crops adding that state Government has provided 33% subsidy on cotton seed amounting to Rs. 17.13 crore to approximately 87,000 farmers to ensure better productivity of cotton in the cotton belt of Punjab.

The Governor said that state Government has been providing financial assistance at the rate of Rs. 1500/- per acre to the farmers for promotion of Direct Seeding of Rice crop adding that under the same scheme, during the year 2023-24, around 1,70,000 acres have been covered by 19,097 farmers with a budgeted subsidy amount of Rs. 75 Crores.

He said that in order to make the Basmati crop beneficial and economically attractive to farmers, state government has decided to establish a Basmati Extension-Research Center and a residue testing laboratory in coordination with APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) which will give a boost to Punjab’s Basmati exports and directly benefit the farmers.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that This Basmati residue testing laboratory will be set up at Jalandhar adding that farmers friends and supervisors are also being recruited to increase the area under Basmati cultivation.

The Governor said that area under Basmati has increased from 4.95 lakh hectares in Kharif 2022 to 5.96 lakh hectares in Kharif 2023, which is about 20% more than that in the previous year.

He said that in order to enable farmers to export Basmati of international standards, my Government has banned application of 10 agricultural pesticides in the state which has yielded very good results in checking the problem of pesticide residue in Basmati crops.

Banwari Lal Purohit said that the state Government has been providing 80% subsidy to farmer groups/panchayats and 50% subsidy to individual farmers for purchase of machineries, for both in-situ and ex-situ management of crop residue in the state adding that during the financial year 2023-24, approximately 23,000 machines have been provided to farmers under this scheme and similarly in the ensuing Financial Year also this scheme shall be continued.(Agency)

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