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August, 2008



Madan Lal Kapoor Appointed Chairman Small Traders Board

Chandigarh, August 25, 2008

Mr. Madan Lal Kapoor today assumed charge of office as Chairman of Small Traders Board in the presence of Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, President SAD and Member Parliament in Punjab Agro Industries Corporation addressing Traders, Mr. Badal said that newly appointed Chairman Mr. Kapoor would visit all districts of the State and would collect your problems in writing which would be solved at the earliest. He said that the Small Traders Board would work as bridge between the Government and the Traders. He said Mr. Kapoor would get status of Cabinet Minister.

Mr. Madan Lal Kapoor thanked Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal for fulfilling the promise made during elections that Traders Community would get due representation.

Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Mr. H.S Bains, Media Advisor/Chief Minister, Mr. Gurmeet Singh Joura, Member Vigilance and Monitoring Committee, Mr. B.P Chandan, Vice Chairman Small Traders Board, Mr. Sarup Chand Singla.



In a significant decision to give major relief to the private bus operators in the state, the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today announced to extend the date for the payment of advance tax made by the bus operators from 15th of every month to the end of the month.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting with the representatives of the Punjab Motor Union presided by Mr. Badal here this evening.

Taking part in the deliberations, the Chief Minister assured the delegation of Punjab Motor Union led by Chief Parliamentary Secretary Excise & Taxation and its Acting President Jagdish Sawhney that all the issues raised by the union including reduction in the special road tax & adda fee, equal frequency, simplification and rationalization of payment of road tax, rectification of permit fee from Rs.5000 per year to Rs.5000 per five years as decided in the Cabinet, reduction in toll tax and uniformity in the time table.

The Chief Minister asked the Principal Secretary Transport to convene a meeting of the senior officers from the departments of local government, finance, transport and the representatives of the Punjab Motor Union to thrash out the above raised issue meticulously so that a final decision could be taken at the later stage. He assured of a sympathetic view of their genuine demands as he realized the hardships faced by them in view of the steep hike in the prices of diesel recently.

Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru, State Transport Commissioner R.Venkta Ratnam, Director Transport Mandeep Singh and the Secretaries of Regional Transport Authority of Jalandhar, Ferozepur and Patiala.




Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the Civil and Army authorities to embark upon an ambitious joint action plan to combat any sort of eventuality arising out of the natural calamities in the state.

Addressing a galaxy of Defence and Civilian Officers at Civil Military Liaison Conference organized by Western Command here at Chandi Mandir headquarters, Mr. Badal asked both the Civil and Army authorities to work out modalities in accordance with the disaster management plan of the State. He highly appreciated the role of Army in extending timely and all out support and cooperation to the civil administration to control the menace of recent floods in the state. Mr. Badal emphasized the need to further boost the efforts of coordination between the Army and civil administration to effectively manage the natural calamities.

Responding to the various issues raised by the Army authorities, the Chief Minister said that the state government had agreed in principle to approve payment of the difference of scholarship by the Ministry of Defence and that offered by the state. He also said that the road link between Air Force Station Chandigarh and Air Force Station High Grounds would be metalled by the Punjab Mandi Board within this year. He also mentioned necessary instructions had already been issued by the state government for co-opting army representatives as special invitees for district planning committees of the four border districts of Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur and Gurdaspur. He further said that the drainage wing of the state irrigation department had been directed to complete all the pending construction works of Dhussi Bundh on top priority. Regarding the construction of cunette in Chakki River near Pathankot, Mr. Badal pointed out that nearly Rs.1.6 crore had been released by the state government and the work was in progress.

To another demand raised by Army authorities for civil sewage disposal facility at Air Force Station Pathankot, Mr. Badal said that the work on this project would be taken up under the scheme of Urban Infrastructure Development of Small & Medium Towns (UIDSMT), funds for which had already been released to the Municipal Committee Pathankot. Mr. Badal also informed in the meeting that the stamp duty and registration charges worth more than Rs.1 crore for the Army Institute of law (AIL), Mohali have been waived off in the Cabinet. Moreover, the land cost of AIL had also been reduced to its previous decided amount of Rs.2 crore instead of Rs.4 crore. Likewise, a sum of Rs.2.69 crore of octroi earlier charged as additional duty by the state government has been reimbursed to Jalandhar and Ferozepur cantonments. A sum of Rs.96 lac had been released for restoration of Jagatjit Palace, Kapurthala and Rs.1.32 crore for the construction of additional hostel in the Sainik School there, added Mr.Badal.

The state government had also directed the PUDA to issue necessary directions for permission to run CSD canteen for ex-servicemen at Mohali till the establishment of Zila Sainik Bhawan in sector 64 (Phase X) Mohali. The work relating to the fly over, by-pass and four lanning of NH-64 at Bathinda Military Station were already in advanced state of planning.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister presented a cheque of Rs.5 lac to the GOC-in-C Western Command Lt. Gen.TK Sapru as one time grant to Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Mohali for the repair of wheelchairs, prosthetics and other implements.

Meanwhile, Director General of Punjab Police NPS Aulakh made a detailed presentation on the internal security plan of the state.

Speaking on the occasion, GOC-in-C Western Command Lt. Gen.TK Sapru complimented the Chief Minister for the prompt resolution of the pending issues through taking personal initiative. He assured Mr. Badal on behalf of Western Command to extend full cooperation to the civil administration in fighting natural calamities in future too. He hoped for a further better understanding and cooperation besides the need for a coordinated approach between the civil and military authorities in the larger interest of the society.

Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Cooperation & Defence Minister Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, Chief Secretary RI Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru, Principal Secretary Home Dr.BC Gupta, Principal Secretary Defence Services AR Talwar, Principal Secretary Irrigation & Power Suresh Kumar and Principal Secretary PWD (B&R) Kulbir Singh.



Chandigarh August 25, 2008

The Punjab Legal Services Authority (PLSA) would organize six special Lok Adalats in six districts in the state

till November 29, 2008 for all types of civil and criminal cases.

Disclosing this here today Mr. G.S. Bakshi Member Secretary, PLSA said that the special Lok Adalats provides good opportunities for litigants to dispose off their old cases by amicable settlements. The award passed in the Lok Adalat would be final and no appeal lies against the awards pronounced by these Adalats.

Giving schedule of special Lok Adalats to be organized in the various districts, he added that a special Lok Adalat would be held at Jalandhar on 30th August, at Ludhiana on September 13th, Patiala 27th September, Amritsar 25th October, Kapurthala 15th November, and Hoshiarpur on 29th November 2008.

He disclosed that since the authority was constituted in February 1998, the PLSA had organized 4797 Lok Adalats up to June, 2008. In these Lok Adalats, 7,04,064 cases were taken up, out of which 3,88,728 cases were settled by way of compromise and the litigant parties were awarded compensation to the tune of Rs. 1135,14,69,756/-.

He further stated that during the period from 1998 to June 2008, the PLSA had also provided free legal aid to 32,200 persons that include 3914 SC/STs, 16302 jail inmates, 4017 women and children and 7967 poor persons.



Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal called upon the 5-member Central team to recommend the state's case for flood relief to the Ministry of Home on the basis of revised norms because the nature and quantum of damage caused to crops and property was absolutely different from the loss suffered on this account by other states during the recent floods.

Presiding over a high level meeting here on Sunday late evening to review the progress of relief measures undertaken on war footing in different parts of the flood affected areas in wake of the Central team's visit and its impression about the fury of floods and subsequent damage in terms of crops, property and loss of human lives, Mr. Badal urged the members of the team to take a considerate view of the situation to bail out the beleaguered families who had been worst hit by the recent floods. He asked them to project the state's case entirely in a different perspective because the paddy crop which was near the ripening stage had been completely vanished. He said that the affected farmers in such cases could be compensated only with the revised norms of relief because the existing norm of relief @ Rs.4000 per hectare was nothing but a cruel joke with them.

Terming this amount too meager, Mr. Badal said that the farmers had to spend about Rs.25000 per hectare on inputs only and they had already spent more than 60% of this amount on raising the crop at this stage. In the light of this, the existing rate of relief needed to be revised upwardly to at least Rs.15,000 per hectare. Likewise, the Chief Minister also urged the Centre to revise the existing upper ceiling of Rs.2000 per family in case of the washed away/fully damaged/severely damaged and loss of clothing, utensils or house hold goods should be raised to a minimum of Rs.50,000 per family. Similarly, the norms of fodder/feed concentrate should also be revised to Rs.50 and Rs.25 from Rs.20 and Rs.10 per day for large and small animals respectively.

Mr. Badal informed the Central team the damaged so far assessed by the various government agencies was now estimated at Rs.945 crore against the earlier tentative damage of Rs.530.36 crore, with a substantial damage caused to crops (Rs.344 crore) over 172269 acres, Irrigation/Drainage infrastructure (Rs.448 crore), house property (Rs.27.61 crore) roads and buildings (Rs.116 crore) and miscellaneous (Rs.10 crore) including loss of human lives, livestock and other infrastructure like water supply & sanitation, power, panchayats and rural development. He said that he had already pleaded thecase with the Union Home Minister Mr.Shivraj Patil during his recent meeting in Delhi. He said that Mr. Patil also assured of fulsome support to the state in this hour of crisis after the visit of central team to the flood affected areas in Punjab.

Taking part in the discussions, the team leader Joint Secretary Disaster management Prabhanshu Kamal asked the Punjab government to submit a detailed project report for the construction of concrete structured Dhusi Bundh with the provision of floodgates in order to strengthen the embankments of Satluj to avoid floods in future. He assured Mr. Badal that the team had a ring side view of the situation after one to one interaction with the members of the flood affected families besides the farmers and would recommend the Ministry to take stock of the flood situation in the state from a different angle, being an agrarian one.

Later, Mr. Badal asked the Chief Secretary to depute special medical teams in full strength to combat with any eventuality arising out of the likely spread of water born diseases, once the water level started receding. He said that the entire medical and para-medical staff in these flood affected areas should be geared up to effectively control the situation. The Chief Minister also ruled out the possibility of girdawari as ordered earlier because the crop damage in the flood affected area was almost 100% and there was hardly any need of gridawari to assess the extent of damage caused to these crops.

Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Media Advisor to Chief Minister Harcharan Bains, Chief Secretary RI Singh, Financial Commissioner Revenue Romila Dubey, Financial Commissioner Development RS Sandhu, Principal Secretary Irrigation & Power Suresh Kumar besides the other members of the Central team.


To focus on protecting Girl Child and Environment

Chandigarh /Amritsar August 24, 2008

Though both mother and trees nurture the families and planet respectively without any reciprocity, it is indeed paradoxical that today there is a critical need to protect the both our Environment and the Girl Child. This unique relationship between the Girl Child and Environment is sought to be buttressed through a novel experiment involving the State Government, SGPC and a Impact Projects Pvt. Limited, a corporate house.

Under the proposed project aptly entitled Nanhi Chhaan, aimed at generating awareness regarding preserving against female foeticide and declining tree cover in Punjab, saplings along with water of the holy Sarovar would be distributed from the premises of Sri Harmandar Sahib in Amritsar.

The initiative is the brainchild of S. Harpal Singh, among the country's foremost corporate leaders and Chairman of Ranbaxy Laboratories and Impact Projects. According to him, saplings not only of the plants and of trees mentioned in the "Bani" such as Neem and Ber would be given but also others species, which are suitable for the environment. By giving divine blessing to the planting of trees, it is felt that Environment Protection will get the desired boost and add to its contemporary relevance and importance.

Punjab's Environment and Non Conventional Energy Minister S. Bikram Singh Majithia who has been the prime mover behind the initiative, highlights the importance accorded to women in our scriptures and appreciated the sensitivity and social responsibility of S. Harpal Singh and the Ranbaxy Group.

The Nanhi Chhaan project recognizes the strong parallel in the bonds between the mother and child on the one hand and trees and the Earth on the other. So these two ideas are brought together and saplings acquired from the Sri Harmandir Sahib ji (or from any other Gurudwara in control of SGPC) be planted at home either by a bride who comes into her new home or by the mother who gives birth to a girl child or by daughters. This would add a new dimension to the concept of Sewa, which is a cornerstone of the Sikh faith, by involving the community in protection of the Girl Child and the Environment.

To address both these issues in a synergistic manner, the project Nanhi Chhaan would be launched by Smt. Harsimrat Badal from the Galliara of Darbar Sahib on 27th August evening by giving away plant saplings to visitors to the holy shrine. The sapling 'Buta Prasad' would be taken home by ladies, daughters and daughter-in-laws for plantation and protection with a reverence befitting the importance that environment protection should hold in our heart and minds. S. Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP and President SAD, S. Bikram Singh Majithia Environment and Non-Conventional Energy Minister Punjab, S. Avtar Singh Makkar SGPC President and S. Harpal Singh, Chairman of the Impact Projects Pvt. Limited would be the main dignitaries to grace the function. DC Amritsar KS Pannu has worked to coordinate the project between the SGPC and the corporate house.




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