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Punjab Govt
May 07, 2008



Chandigarh, May7, 2008

The Punjab Forest Department has launched a Integrated Forest Protection Scheme for proper prevention/control and management of forest fires in the State.

Reviewing the activities of the Forest Department regarding prevention and control of forest fires in a meeting attended by the Senior Forest Officers Mr. Tikshan Sud, Forest Minister, Punjab said that Punjab Government was quite concerned about increasing incidents of forest fires and has constructed 97 fire watch towers mainly in hilly areas under Punjab Afforestation Project for timely detection and control of forest fires. He said that under this scheme 1000 km of fire lines, 4 water storage structures each of 1 lac liter capacity and 1 fire tender have been provided during 2007-08 for proper prevention/control and management of forest fires in the State. State

Mr. B.C. Bala, PCCF explained that during the current fire season, 124 fires have already been reported affecting 6537.4 hac. forest area of the State. Due to these fires, 56 trees and 7150 other saplings were affected. The estimated loss on account of damage to trees was about Rs. 56000 and damage to plants Rs. 3,50,000/- He said that forest fire season generally commences from 1st April and extends upto 15th June. During the fire season fires occur due to abundance of dry and highly inflammable biomass such as grass, leaves, twigs in the forest. The incidences and intensity of fires are cyclical in nature. Generally, there is a 5 to 6 year cycle of periodicity of high incidences of forest fire. Last time it was during the year 2002-03. Mr,. Bala further informed that this year, whole of North India i.e. HP, Haryana, Uttranchal and Punjab has been ravaged by forest fires. Most of the fires that occur in the State forests are "ground fires" which cause relatively less damage than "Crown fires". Fires occur due to throwing of lighted Cigarette/Biri and the fire lit by graziers for warming food/making tea etc. without properly putting off the same, and fires which spread into forest areas from adjoining fields when farmers burn agricultural residue after harvesting. High temperatures and fast winds cause the fires over large areas. Ground fires do not cause much damage to the trees but young plantations and the under story suffer considerable damage from such fires.

Forest Minister instructed that that needful instructions be issued to all the field staff to be well prepared before the start of fire season. Extensive fire prevention measures should be taken up to prevent fires and minimize damage in the event of the occurrence of fire. He said that Fire tending equipment is kept ready for use at any time and the same is made readily available at the most vulnerable areas. The Minister sad that Training in fire protection is imparted to the staff in new fire fighting techniques and awareness camps be organised for educating people especially Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs). Mr Sud said that Pamphlets containing information to prevent and control forest fires should be widely distributed among the public to create awareness. He sad Clearance of fire lines, weeding in plantations and control burning of inflammable material shoud be completed as preventive measures.

It was informed in the meeting that 779 km fire lines have already been cleared in forests this year to check the spread of fires. Weeding and jungle clearance has been undertaken in all the young plantations and watering is also done where feasible to prevent fire damage in young plantations. During the fire season, 246 firewatchers are regularly engaged by the department in all the vulnerable beats round the clock to promptly monitor and detect forest fires wherever and whenever they occur.

Sh. Sud observed that acute shortage of frontline staff (i.e. 350 Forest Guards, 35 Forest Rangers) was seriously affecting the prevention and control of forest fires in the State. The Minister also issued strict directions to all the staff to be totally prepared to do everything needful for timely prevention and control of forest fires with the active participation of people as per the Joint Forest Management Policy of the State Govt. The Minister also appealed to the public to cooperate with the staff and support them in all the activities to prevent and control forest fires.

Mr R.C Nayar Principal Secretary Forests and senior officers of Forest Department also participated in the meeting


Chandigarh May, 7, 2008

The Punjab Government proposes to setup a National Institute of Punjabi Language, Literature and Culture (NIPLLC) to promote mother tongue all over the world.

A proposal to this effect was came up at a meeting chaired by Dr. Upinderjit Kaur, Education and Languages Minister, Punjab held here today.

Disclosing this Mr. Harcharan Bains, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab said that the meeting also considered the possibilities of starting an Open University for the preservation and promotion of Punjabi language, literature and culture globally. The meeting also considered a proposal to start Certificate and Diploma courses in Punjabi in various professional spheres like Modern Office Practice, Translation, Dictionary, DTP, Software Development, Proof Reading, Journalism and Public Relations, News Reading, Stage Compeering, Radio Jokey, Film Direction, Producing and Script Writing, Folk and Culture and Diploma in Punjabi Dress Designing etc.

The institute would require various Departments/wings for its proper functioning like Computer and Language Laboratory, Translation and Comparative Studies, Immigrant and Diaspora Unit, Study Material Production Unit, Printing and Publication Unit and Administrative Wing. In this meeting a Budget Committee was also been proposed to be setup to advise the state government on various aspects of the proposed institute.

The Education Minster Dr. Upinderjit Kaur said that institute would be responsible for the holistic development of Punjabi language, literature and culture and would work for the needs and requirements of modern and post-modern generations. It would be instrumental to build and strengthen ties for national integration also.

The proposed NIPLLC would also provide dissemination of culture through state of the art techniques. It would devise innovative plans and programs for the purpose. The institute would focus on employment oriented courses and skills especially in view of the use of the Punjabi being made compulsory in the administration and educational applications.

Dr. Upinderjit Kaur added that the proposed institute would work as an autonomous professional cum academic unit. However, it would function in close coordination with the existing universities in the state. The institute would have an overall incharge in the rank of Director General enjoying the status of a Vice-Chancellor.

The meeting was attended among others by Sh. Harcharan Bains, Media Advisor Chief Minister, Punjab, Sh. Shatish Chandra, Secretary Planning, Smt. Anjli Bhawra, Secretary Higher Education, S. Jaspal Singh, Special Secretary, Higher Education, Smt. Balbir Kaur, Director, Language Department Punjab, Sh. Satnam Manak, Assistant Editor, Rozana Ajit Jalandhar, Dr. Satinder Singh, former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Dr. Amarjit Singh Kaang, Head Punjabi Department Kurukshetra University, Dr. Kapil Kapoor, former Director, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi and Dr. Janak Raj Gupta, former Director and Head Economics Department, Punjabi University, Patiala.


Chandigarh, May 6: The Punjab Government today issued a notification enhancing the internship stipend of interns of Government Medical College Amritsar, Government Medical College Patiala, Government Dental College Amritsar, Government Dental College Patiala, and Government Ayurvedic College Patiala Rs. 4500 /- P.M with immediate effect.

Disclosing this here today Mr. Tikshan Sud, Medical Education Minister said that enhancement in internship stipend in the case of Ayurvedic interns would be from Rs. 2000 to 4500/- and in the case of others enhancement would be from Rs. 2400/- to 4500/-. The Minister said that it was felt that it was unjustified to pay a qualified Doctor less than a daily wage labourer. He said that when he brought this issue to the notice of Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Finance Minister Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal, they were quite pained on this and Chief Minister ordered immediate revision on Haryana pattern.

He said that the revision in internship allowance would put an extra load of Rs. 1.32 crores per annum on the exchequer of State government.



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