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August, 2008




Chandigarh August 19, 2008
Shikha Nehra

The Health Minister Punjab Prof. Lakshmi Kanta Chawla today directed all the civil surgeons to take immediate steps to control the outbreak of water borne diseases especially in the flood affected areas of the state. Funds amounting to Rupees One Crore, Seven lakh and Sixty Thousand have been allocated to all the Civil Surgeons in the State for Medicines, Insecticidal Spray and POL (Petrol Oil Lubricants, said the minister.

In a statement issued here today, the minister said that the medicines required for water borne diseases, skin diseases, respiratory infections, malaria and insect bites have been made available in abundance in all the hospitals of Punjab . She further asked the officers at the districts headquarters to remain ready and vigilant for any emergent situation. The emergency drugs should be procured and kept ready all the time, said the minister. Control Rooms have also been established at District H..Qs and at Sub-divisional levels. Static and Mobile medical teams fully equipped ambulances, Medicines and life saving drugs and equipments have been constituted and stationed at vulnerable points.

To ensure safe drinking water to the people in the affected areas, the minister said that adequate number of samples of drinking water have been taken for analysis in the identified flood affected areas. Chlorination of drinking water would be ensured. Large number of chlorine tablets have been made available in the stocks of civil surgeons for distribution in flood affected areas as well as rural areas during the rainy season to check water borne diseases, said Prof. Chawla. Although the flood situation was well under control but still as a precautionary measure casual leaves of all Medical and Para-medical staff have been cancelled in the flood prone areas till further orders and all the staff has been put on Red Alert and have been ordered not to leave headquarter, She said.




Chandigarh August 19, 2008

The Punjab Education Department has launched a massive "Green School" drive in all the state schools where students of more than 17000 schools would plant approximately three lac saplings during this drive.

Disclosing this here today, Dr. Upinderjit Kaur, Education Minister Punjab said that this drive had already been launched in the State schools, in order to imbibe the spirit of conservation of plants into the students so that they could be awaked about the depletion of forests cover, to safeguard our environment and to maintain ecological balance. Besides, this drive would also make them responsible to their collective duties and contribution to the society to preserve the nature's balance.

The Minister said that the state forest department had conceded to that the District Forest Officers (DFOs) would provide the saplings of available 45 verities free of cost to the state schools and the Forest Rangers as well as Forest Guards would guide and render help to the school heads for tree plantation. Besides they would also visit the schools for disease free growth of plants.

The Education Minister further added that the school heads have also been instructed to plant atleast ten saplings in their school premises and to honour those students who keep the plantations in healthy state.


Punjab Government issues Punjab State Development Loan

CHANDIGARH, August 19, 2008

The outstanding balance of 11.50 percent Punjab State Development Loan 2008 issued in terms of the State government vide notification no.7/2/88 2FB11 dated August 16,1988 would be repaid on August 29,2008 with interest due upto including August 28, 2008.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesman of the Punjab Government said that in the event of a holiday being declared on the aforesaid date by State Government under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, the loan would be repaid by the paying offices on the previous working day. No interest would accrue on the loan from and after August 29, 2008, he added.

He also said that to facilitate repayment on the due date, holders of 11.50 percent Punjab State Development Loan, 2008 should tender their securities at the Public Debt Office, Treasury and Sub-Treasury or branch of State Bank of India, or its subsidiary banks where they are enfaced/registered for payment of interest 20 days in advance.

It should be particularly noted, said the spokesman, that at places where the treasury work was done by a branch of the State Bank of India or any of its associate banks, the securities, if they were in the form of Stock Certificates, should be tendered at the branch of the bank concerned and not at the Treasury or Sub-Treasury.




In response to an appeal of the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal to make liberal contributions towards the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to effectively combat the flood situation and to extend all out help to the flood victims in the state, Cooperation Minister Capt. Kanwaljit Singh today presented Cheques worth Rs.2 crore to Mr. Badal towards the relief fund on behalf of Markfed (Rs.1 crore), Punjab State Cooperative Bank (Rs.50 Lac) and Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank (Rs.50 lac).

According to Chief Minister's Media Advisor Harcharan Bains, the fund would be utilized to bail out the affected persons for giving them adequate compensation for the loss suffered in terms of crops, property and human life.

Financial Commissioner Cooperation Ms.Kusumjit Sidhu, MD Markfed GS Grewal, MD Punjab State Cooperative Bank Parmeshwar Singh Sidhu, MD Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank Gurbir Singh Mangat, Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Gagandeep Singh Brar and Chief Manager Markfed Balmukand Sharma were also present on the occasion.



Chandigarh August 19, 2008

Punjab Government today sought two pilot projects from Union Renewable Energy Ministry to produce power from flow of rivers in the State. The State also sought two demonstration projects funded by Union Ministry to harness power from waterfalls with a head of 1-1.5mt.

Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Science Technology and Non Renewable Energy Minister Punjab in a high level meeting with Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Mr. Vilas Baburao Muttemwar today demanded assistance from Union Ministry for ushering in an era of non-renewable energy in Punjab.

The Minister informed the Union Minister that Punjab was committed to generate 10% of total generation capacity of the State from non-renewable resources and Union Government should provide assistance to make Punjab a model of Non-Renewable Energy generation in the Country so that others states could emulate. The Union Minister offered total support of his Ministry to translate this dream into reality.

Mr. Majithia sought 50% subsidy on two additional projects to generate 2 MW power from cow dung. He said that Punjab was planning to expand existing 1 MW project at Haebowal into 2 MW and would set up another project at another location at Ludhiana. The Union Minister agreed to consider this proposal keeping in view the vast potential of this project.

Giving a novel suggestion to harness abundant solar energy in the country, Mr. Majithia suggested that subsidy of 1.25 lac per MW presently available for government institutions, be extended to domestic as well as individual housing buildings for setting up Photovoltaic Power Plant and these plants be connected to the State grid. He also suggested that Ministry should seek income tax benefits for individuals and institutions setting up these plants. Mr. Vilas Baburao Muttemwar appreciating the suggestion asked his Secretary to involve Punjab in making day conceptual paper of this proposal.

Putting up the case of farmers of Punjab strongly Mr. Majithia demanded that subsidy of Rs. 1.80 lac on Solar Photovoltaic water pumps for irrigation purposes be restored immediately as Punjab farmers are lining up to install such pumps and state had 300 applications pending for such pumps. The Minister informed that the 1800 pumps already installed have proved quite successful and Ministry should immediately restore the subsidy. The Union Minister promised to reconsider this proposal keeping in view the fact that Punjab was the 'food basket' of India.

It was also agreed in the meeting to operationalize Sardar Swaran Singh National institute for Renewable Energy at Kapurthala within one year. It was informed in the meeting that 70% civil work of the building was already complete.

The Union Minister asked Punjab Government to setup solar power plants on BOT basis as Union Government was giving a grant of Rs. 12.50 per unit for such plants. He informed that against the propsed plants of 50 MW, the Union Government has already received proposals from private players for 2000 MW plants.

Mr. A.S. Chattwal Secretary Science & Technology and a team of officers from Union Ministry headed by Union



Member of Parliament from British Columbia (Canada) Mr. Ed Fast today offered services to work together with the Punjab government in upgrading technical skills and knowledge through Experts' and Teachers' exchange programmes in the sphere of primary & secondary education, technical education, skill development, tele-medicine, bio-technology, nano-technology and information technology.

Mr. Fast made this offer here today during a call on meeting with the Punjab Chief Minister Mr.Parkash Singh Badal at latter residence.

Taking part in the deliberations, the Chief Minister informed Mr. Ed Fast that Punjabis shared a special bonding with British Columbia-one of the most prosperous and advanced provinces in Canada. Punjabis had a strong presence there and it was a matter of great satisfaction to observe that Punjabis had always contributed immensely towards the economic prosperity of the land of their adoption.

Mr. Badal apprised the visiting Member Parliament that the Punjab government had already inked a memorandum of understanding with British Columbia for bilateral cooperation in the field of education leading further to employment. The Chief Minister sought Mr. Fast's cooperation for the skill development programme in the state besides the absorption of quality manpower from the state in the industry of British Columbia. He also requested Mr. Fast to consider Punjab as their number one choice for importing manpower and also ease out the procedure for migration of skilled youth from Punjab to province of British Columbia.

Mr. Fast assured the Chief Minister that British Columbia was looking forward for collaboration with the Punjabi University Patiala, Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar, Technical University Jalandhar, Panjab University Chandigarh and Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana to upgrade the standard of education and improve the chances of employability of students from Punjab to Canada.

Mr. Fast and her Executive Assistant Ms. Anju Gill were accompanied by Member Parliament Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa. Cooperation Minister Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Harcharan Bains and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru were also present on the occasion.



The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today released a book "Gurmat Sabhyachar" by the eminent Sikh scholar and former Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee President Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar. The book contains essays on Sikh philosophy and ethos and is the second book on Sikh philosophy by the author as he had also authored an other book "Gurmat Vichar te Sikhi Jeewan" in 2006.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Badal appreciated the efforts of Prof. Badungar the noted writer and thinker on Sikhism who had played a pro-active role in propagating the value based teachings of Sikh philosophy in the right perspective. Mr. Badal hoped that such thought provoking books could redeem the ailing humanity to attain the level of divinity in the present scenario.

Prof. Badungar has explicitly highlighted the relevance and significance of spiritualism in the present materialistic society through his writings in the book.

Prominent amongst the others who were present on the occasion included Member Parliament and SAD Chief Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Member Parliament Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Rural Development & Panchayats Minister Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Cooperation Minister Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, Education Minister Bibi Upinderjit Kaur, Advisor to Chief Minister Dr. Daljeet Singh Cheema and Media Advisor Harcharan Bains besides the senior leadership of SAD including former SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur, Balwinder Singh Bhundar, Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra, Jathedar Tota Singh and Mr. Sewa Singh Sekhwan.


Chandigarh August 19, 2008

The Shiromani Akali Dal today took its battle on the Sikh religious affairs to the national stage, directly implicating the UPA chief Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and the Union Government for what it called "direct, dangerous and provocative interference in the internal affairs of the Khalsa Panth and attempts to destroy the Mini Parliament of the Sikhs, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee through the setting up of parallel body in Haryana.'

A resolution passed at an emergency meeting of the Core Committee of the SAD held Mrs. Sonia Gandhi directly responsible for using the Haryana government for denigrating the supreme Sikh institution, and "endangering peace and communal harmony in the region and the country by hatching a conspiracy to undo countless sacrifices made by the Sikhs for the right to manage their own holy shrines." Describing the SGPC as "the ultimate democratic symbol of glory of the Panth and of its right to manage its own religious shrines," the resolution described the move to set up a separate body, against the wishes of the Sikhs including those of Haryana, as 'fraught with dangers."
The Core Committee declared that the Haryana Sikhs would hold a massive rally at Karnal on August 30 to protest against the acts of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and her party's government in Haryana.

Representatives of the Haryana unit of the SAD and religious figures from the state met the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and SAD supremo Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal and asked them to take up their case with the Union Government.

The Core Committee Resolution regretted the 'utterly insensitive attitude of the Centre towards repeated pleas made through the SGPC, the SAD and the Punjab government' to dissuade the Haryana government from its "obstinate attitude'. "The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh even chose not to acknowledge the two letters written to him by the Punjab CM on the issue. It is hard to see the motives of the Sonia led Congress High Command behind these moves even as peace and communal harmony in Punjab had been restored only after thousands of innocents fell a prey to violence. "That spate of violence itself was the result of the dangerous political conspiracies of the then Congress leaders at the centre and in the state. It seems they are hell bent on reactivating those conspiracies," said the resolution.

The Core Committee traced the history of "the long and glorious struggle that led to the formation of the SGPC in 1925. "The saga was described by no less a leader than Mahatma Gandhi as the first victory in the movement for independence. Later, the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru reached a pact with the Panth Ratan, Master Tara Singh ji on non-interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs. The Pact, known as Nehru-Master Tara Singh Pact, specifically and categorically said that no decision affecting the religious affairs of the Sikh Community would be taken except through the prior consent of the overwhelming majority of the members of the SGPC."

"Sonia Gandhi, for some intriguing reason, is bent upon making a mockery even of that sacred pledge made by her grand father in law to the Sikh community, "said the resolution.
The SAD warned Mrs. Sonia Gandhi against hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikhs. "Or else, she would be directly responsible for any unpleasant consequences that flow from her pursuing this disastrous course," said the Core Committee Resolution.

The meeting was presided over by SAD Chief Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal and attended by the Punjab Chief Minister and Patron SAD Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, Secretary General Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Senior Vice President & Rural Development & Panchayats Minister Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, General Secretary SAD Balwinder Singh Bhundar, General Secretary & Cooperation Minister Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, General Secretary Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra, Jathedar Tota Singh, Mr. Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Education Minister Bibi Upinderjit Kaur, former SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur, besides Secretary & & Advisor to Chief Minister Dr. Daljeet Singh Cheema and Media Advisor Harcharan Bains.

God bless you Mr Chandumajra; only if they valued your loyalty

"More loyal than the king", remarked the nine Congress MLAs about the Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary, Prem Singh Chandumajra, who had come to the rescue of his leader, apparently quite reluctantly, Sukhbir Badal. They wished him goodluck hoping this reluctant, but seemingly unfailing loyalty to the first family in SAD would fetch him the party nomination from the Patiala parliamentary constituency which he was so scornfully refused last time in 2004 which had led to his exit.

In a joint statement issued today, the MLAs remarked, Chandumajra seems to speak from his personal experience in the SAD where the leaders are not treated uniformly but categorised according to the level and ranking accorded to them on the basis of their loyalty, rather sycophancy, towards the "first family" in the party, as "first rung", "second rung", "third rung" and so on. While it is already a public knowledge as how the leaders are scornfully treated in the SAD, be they "general secretaries or the secretaries general", but now it has been confirmed, rather confessed, by no less a person than the party general secretary himself. There power and authority is restricted to merely issuing the statements in defence of their leaders.

The MLAs asserted, leaders are not categorized in the Congress as "family loyalists and sycophants" and possible rebels, but are treated as public representatives who come from grass roots. And the leadership in Congress, unlike the SAD, is not thrust from the top nor inherited by virtue of birth, it is earned by hardwork, experience and service to the people. The MLAs remarked, "we wish Chandumajra could introspect and categorize himself, if at all he was in any category, in the SAD the same way he has tried to categorize us". They expressed their gratitude to him for describing them as the "navrattans".

As for as describing them as the "psycho-analysts", the MLAs remarked, he should better have questioned the "psycho-analytical skills" of his own leader, Sukhbir Badal who has taken upon himself so many roles, but that of a mature and responsible leader leading a responsible party. They reiterated that Sukhbir Badal is too obsessed, haunted and hallucinated by the fear of Capt Amarinder Singh that he is finding ground slipping beneath his feet.

The MLAs also had a dig at Chandumajra for praising the "leadership and sagacity" of his leader, "by ensuring a thumping win for the Akali Dal in the recently held local government elections". They told Chandumajra, "you better ask your alliance partner the BJP how thumping the victory has been and if you would not be satisfied ask thousands of Akali workers in the villages who were victimized in the factional fights".

The MLAs lauded the ability and agility of Chandumajra to cultivate the loyalty skills so fast and wished that these utlived the 2009 parliamentary elections. Reminding him of the indignity he suffered during the last parliamentary elections when he was denied the party ticket from Patiala which led to his resigning from the party, they wished him good luck this time. "Such unfailing loyalty must fetch you the parliamentary nomination this time", they reassured Chandumajra, while adding, "even though we know you hardly stand any chance, but that would salvage your prestige which was hurt and bruised so badly in 2004 and you were left with no option but to quit only to return again".

The MLAs who issued the joint statement included Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Gurpreet Singh Kangar, Joginder Singh Panjgrayan, Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, Makhan Singh, Naresh Kataria, Sukh Sarkaria, Mangat Rai Bansal, Sher Singh Gagoowal, Harmohinder Singh Pradhan, Joginderpal Jain, Ajit Singh Shant and Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu.



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