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Press release for Punjab Govt
Jan 22, 2008




Chandigarh JANUARY 22:

Punjab Chief Minister Mr.Parkash Singh Badal today called on the Union Science & Technology Minister Mr.Kapil Sibal for seeking an early Environment and Forest Clearance (EFC) for setting up of a world class National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute and Bio-processing Unit and National Institute of Nanotechnology.

The Chief Minister raised this issue with Mr.Sibal in a meeting held here at his office and said that the state government had already fulfilled its commitment of acquiring 381.38 acres of land at a cost of Rs.274.35 crore at Mohali for the proposed the knowledge city. Mr.Badal also urged the Union Science & Technology Minister for the upgradation of three colleges in the state viz. Satish Chandra Dhawan Govt. College, Ludhiana, Govt. Mohindra College, Patiala and Govt. Science & Research College Jagraon to the level of Star Life Science colleges. He informed that the detailed proposal of these colleges had already been sent to the department of Biotechnology, GoI for approval. Mr. Badal also impressed upon the Union Science & Technology Minister to link the state's telemedicine project including Primary Health Centre, Badal in district Muktsar and Community Health Centre, Machhiwara in district Ludhiana with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He also asked Mr.Sibal to expedite GoI's in Principle approval for setting up of Centre of Excellence for Veterinary and Animal Science at Guru Angad Dev University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Ludhiana.

The Chief Minister also asked the Ministry of Science & Technology to clear the state government's proposal for using 3D technology for urban and planning and management initially for Ludhiana and its surrounding areas and to be followed for other municipal corporation agglomerations later on.

Mr.Sibal assured the Chief Minister of fulsome support and cooperation for the execution of these prestigious projects within a time frame. Mr.Sibal confirmed to the Chief Minister that the Ministry of Science & Technology cleared the four pending proposals for the setting up of Centres of Excellence in the areas of Bio-pesticides, Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, Genetic Engineering and Technology Assessment & Transfer.

Earlier, the Chief Minister also called on Union Urban Development Minister Mr. Jaipal Reddy and sought an early approval of the detailed project reports (DPRs) for augmentation of sewerage treatment plant at Ludhiana under JNNURM. These projects included 50 million liter per day (MLD) capacity enhancement of Jamalpur at Rs. 17.24 crore and 100 MLD each at Bhattian and Balloke at Rs. 34.86 crore and 34.97 crore. He also mentioned that the Punjab Government would soon submit DPR for eight projects under Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) involving a cost of Rs. 1150 crores. The Ministry of Urban Development had earmarked Rs. 226 crore for the entire 11th Plan for Punjab under the scheme.

Mr. Reddy agreed in principle to approve all the proposals put forth by the Chief Minister and assured Ministry's full support and co-operation in future also. He asked Mr. Badal to bring any number of urban development projects and these would be accorded approval at the priority as planned and integrated development of urban sector was our major concern and objective.

Later in the evening Mr. Badal paid a courtesy call to the former Prime Minister Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his residence.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by Principal Resident Commissioner, Punjab Bhawan New Delhi Anjuly Chib Duggal and Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister KJS Cheema.




Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called on Union Minister of Water Resources Prof.Saif-Ud-Din Soz at New Delhi in his office at Shram Shakti Bhawan and sought an early clearance of various pending irrigation projects with the GOI.

Mr. Badal asked the Union Minister of Water Resources to recommend the concept note on ground water management and eradication of water logging in the state to the Ministry of Finance so that the Punjab government could avail of non lending technical assistance from the World Bank to execute this gigantic task. The Chief Minister also Prof.Soz to remove the one for one restriction for funding of projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme and Command Area Development programme, which was a bottleneck in taking up new projects for execution.

Prof.Soz assured Mr.Badal of full support and cooperation to the Chief Minister for expeditiously execution of the various irrigation projects in the state. He said that the Ministry had already approved the Rs.190 crore Sirhind Feeder Part II and the other projects including Rs.125 crore Abohar Branch and Bathinda Branch would also be cleared soon. He appreciated the concern of Mr.Badal about the scarcity of ground water and urged him to go for harvesting of rain water and recharge of ground water to maintain the level of water table. He also asked Mr.Badal to adopt a model bill circulated to all states for the conservation of water as it was the life line of the mankind.

Later, Mr.Badal also called on Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of India Dr.Montek Singh Ahluwalia in his office at Yojna Bhawan and asked the Centre to revise the norms and criteria for identification of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in the country. He also demanded a fresh survey to prepare authentic data on the subject. "At present, BPL families are defined in minimalist terms and vast sections of the suffering poor are left out of the ambit of the scheme," said Mr. Badal.

The Chief Minister said that Punjab deserved a special dispensation to help this important segment of the populations. "The SC population in the State constitutes 28.85% of the total population which is highest in the country. Practically no weight-age is given by the Planning Commission in the allocation of funds through various windows to the SC population in the state. The percentage of SC population may be included as one of the criteria governing transfer of funds from the centre to the states," said Mr.Badal.

Mr.Ahluwalia assured the Chief Minister that he would certainly look into the demand of revising the norms for the identification of BPL families to the advantage of Punjab which had a fairly large SC population.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by Principal Resident Commissioner Anjuly Chib Duggal and Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister KJS Cheema.





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